Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid made the following statement on the Senate floor this evening about a bipartisan agreement to cut the deficit and raise the debt ceiling:
For the last few weeks Congress has been locked in partisan gridlock. Today, I am relieved to say that leaders from both parties have come together for the sake of our economy to reach a historic, bipartisan compromise that ends this dangerous standoff. The compromise we have agreed to is remarkable not only because of what it does, but because of what it prevents: a first-ever default on the full faith and credit of the United States.
Sometimes it seems our two sides disagree on almost everything. But in the end, reasonable people were able to agree on this: the United States could not take the chance of defaulting on our debt, risking a United States financial collapse and a world-wide depression. America and the world have been watching our Democracy expectantly. And my message tonight is that this nation and this Congress are moving forward together. Reaching a long-term accord that would give our economy the certainty it needs was not easy.
But our work is not done. Leaders from both parties and in both chambers will present this agreement to our caucuses tomorrow. Senate Democrats will meet at 11 a.m. To pass this settlement, we’ll need the support of Democrats and Republicans in both the House and Senate. There is no way either party – in either chamber – can do this alone. As President Lyndon Johnson said, “There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few that we can solve by ourselves.” Democrats and Republicans have rarely needed to come together more than today.
I know this agreement won’t make every Republican happy. It certainly won’t make every Democrat happy, either. Both parties gave more ground than they wanted to. And neither side got as much as it had hoped. But that is the essence of compromise. And the American people demanded compromise this week.