Washington, DC—Nevada Senator Harry Reid made the following remarks today regarding ongoing budget negotiations. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“We’re now 38 hours away from the deadline. We have fewer than two days to put politics aside, put the American people first and reach an agreement.
“Last night, Speaker Boehner and I met again with the President. We met for more than an hour and a half. The meeting was adequate.
“Then we worked through the night – my staff and the President’s people continue to work together.
“We are very close on the numbers. Our differences are no longer over how much savings to get out of government spending.
“The only thing – the only thing – holding up agreement is that the Republicans are drawing the line on ideology.
“The Republicans are insisting on extraneous restrictions on women’s health in the name of abortion. They want to roll back the Clean Air Act.
“These matters have no place on a budget bill. This is a bill to keep the country running. It is not a family planning bill or an environmental bill.
“The bottom line is this: I can see us sitting down at the negotiating table and coming away with an agreement on numbers.
“But no one can realistically think that we will walk out of a room and suddenly agree to roll back women’s access to health care or protections for the environment. We will not solve in one night a disagreement this country has been having for four decades. That’s not realistic.
“Right now, we have to be realistic. We cannot be distracted by ideology.
“Speaking of distractions, the House is going to pass a short-term stopgap today. As I said here last night, that is a non-starter in the Senate.
“It’s not just bad policy – it’s fantasy. We all heard the President say that he won’t accept anything short of a full solution.
“The President is right. We can’t keep funding the country with one stopgap after another. The United States of America shouldn’t have to live paycheck to paycheck.”