Washington, D.C.–Nevada Senator Harry Reid made the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Republican attempts to block the Economic Development Administration reauthorization. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
This afternoon we will have a cloture vote on reauthorization of the Economic Development Administration, a law we’ve depended on for going on 50 years.
This is the fourth jobs bill Democrats have brought to the floor this year. I hope Republicans will not allow it to be the fourth jobs bill to wither on the vine thanks to their obstructionist tactics.
This is a good piece of legislation with decades of helping American businesses in economically distressed communities to innovate, grow and hire.
In the last five years alone, the Economic Development Administration has created 314,000 jobs. It has successfully turned every one dollar in federal investment into seven dollars in private sector investment.
It is good legislation that will create good jobs for Americans who need them. Unfortunately, that’s not enough to win bipartisan support among the Republicans here in D.C. who are more interested in destroying Medicare than creating jobs.
The Small Business Innovation Research bill was a good piece of legislation, too. That also died in the Senate last month under a pile of unrelated amendments.
The bills the Senate passed this year reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration and reforming America’s patent system were good legislation, too. They would have created or saved half a million jobs. They made it out of the Senate alive, but now they are languishing in the Republican-controlled House.
Will the Economic Development Authority suffer the same fate? I certainly hope not. Because the American people need jobs. And if Republicans block another jobs bill – their fourth this year – it will be clear that they are more interested in right wing ideology than creating much-needed employment.
None of the 90 amendments – most of which have nothing to do with this bill – is important enough to stop a jobs bill that could put hundreds of thousands of people to work.
Once again, today’s vote is about priorities.
Americans have been very clear: job creation is their number one priority.
Democrats share that priority. Republicans don’t. We will never stop bringing jobs bills to the floor. And we will never stop fighting the other side’s obstructionism to try to get them passed.
Again, Republicans have a different priority: ending Medicare.
They have worked hard to block three bills that could have created and saved hundreds of thousands of jobs during tough economic times. But they have pushed even harder for their ideological plan to kill Medicare as we know it.
The Republican plan would put insurance company bureaucrats between seniors and their doctors. Every senior would pay $6,400 more for health care in its first year alone. And it would force more than 7 million seniors to pay more for cancer screenings and treatments beginning next year.
Americans have been clear about this, too: they have resoundingly rejected this ideological plan to hurt seniors.
Unfortunately, I haven’t seen a shred of evidence that my Republican friends are getting the message on Medicare. Today they’ll have a chance to show the American people whether they’ve heard the message on jobs. I hope they have, because so much is at stake. And America is watching.