Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid spoke on the Senate floor today about Republican obstructionism in the Senate. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
Over the last week, I’ve listened to my Republican colleagues come to the Senate floor to lament how little the Senate has accomplished during the 112th Congress.
I share that concern.
In fact, it’s a wonder we’ve gotten anything done at all, considering the lack of cooperation Democrats have gotten from our Republican colleagues.
I’ve said it before, but this bears repeating. In my time as Majority Leader, I have faced 382 Republican filibusters.
That’s 381 more filibusters than Lyndon Johnson faced during his six years as Majority Leader.
Time and again, my Republican colleagues have stalled or blocked perfectly good pieces of legislation to score points with the Tea Party – and they’ve hurt middle-class Americans in the process.
Even the most noncontroversial, consensus matters – items that would have passed by unanimous consent in the past – Republicans have obstructed or delayed.
Take the bipartisan sportsman’s bill, for example.
The Junior Senator from Montana, Senator Tester, has assembled a broad package of legislation to support the needs of sportsmen across the country.
This measure combines about 20 bills important to the sportsmen’s community – bills that would promote hunting, fishing and recreation.
They would foster habitat conservation through voluntary programs.
And more than 50 national sportsmen and conservation groups support Senator Tester’s bill.
We ought to pass this package in a matter of hours.
This should not be a fight.
Yet Republicans are forcing us to run out the clock on this bipartisan bill.
And, in the process, they’re holding up votes on several other important measures, including: Iran containment, confirmation of our ambassadors to Iraq and Pakistan and the continuing resolution to fund the government for six months.
Republicans say this Congress has been unproductive.
But if Republicans want to know why it’s been unproductive, they should take a look in the mirror.
Benjamin Franklin once said “Well done is better than well said.”
It’s time Republicans stopped talking about how much they want to get things done and started working with Democrats to actually get things done.