Washington, D.C. — Nevada Senator Harry Reid made the following statement today regarding ongoing budget negotiations. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“This debate used to be about saving money. That is no longer the case.
“The Tea Party is trying to push through its extreme social agenda – issues that have nothing to do with funding the government.
“We are very close on the cuts and how we make them. The only things – I repeat, the only things – holding up an agreement are women’s health and clean air.
“And what’s worse – when we were on the verge of an agreement, Republicans changed their tune overnight.
“This is the question: Do they really want to shut down the government because they want to make it harder for a woman to get a cancer screening?
“Do they really want to shut down the government because they don’t want scientists to make sure we can all breathe clean air?
“This is an extreme agenda that has no place in this bill. This is a budget.
“This is a bill to keep the country running. It’s not a women’s health bill. It’s not an environmental bill.
“We will not solve in one night disagreements this country has been having for 40 years. That is not realistic. Right now, we have to be realistic.
“While the Tea Party cheers for a shutdown – and I mean that literally – we will keep trying to reach an agreement.
“We have been reasonable. We care about the people a shutdown would hurt. We won’t stop working to avoid a shutdown.
“But we can’t do it alone. We have one day left. This isn’t the time – and we don’t have the time – to fight over the Tea Party’s extreme social agenda.
“This is the time to come together to keep the country running.”