Senate Democrats

Senator Reid’s Remarks on the Steps of the United States Supreme Court

Reid speaks out against partisan power grab

As prepared for delivery:

Our founding fathers created a system of checks and balances, so that no one person or political party could hold total control over our nation. They separated powers between three branches of government – one having no more power than the other.

For over 200 years, this system has worked.

But now the Republican Leadership wants to change the rules and silence debate, so the Republican Party can get its way whenever it wants. They want to go “nuclear” and turn the Senate into a rubber stamp for President Bush.

Today, Americans from across the country have told Republicans loud and clear to stop this abuse of power. Over one million citizens just like you have stood up for the right to be heard in Washington. And I want to thank you for your support and urge you to keep up the fight.

The Republicans will say this issue is about putting judges on the bench, but one look at the evidence tells you it is not. During his first term, President Bush saw 95 percent of judicial nominations approved. That’s a better record than any President has had in the last 25 years.

The truth is, the “nuclear option” is the result of a Republican Party arrogant with power. If they don’t get what they want, they break the rules or attack whoever is around. Senate Democrats are the last thing standing between President Bush and total power. If Republicans can silence the Democrats in the Senate, their power will be unchecked. There will be no check on the President’s selection of the next Supreme Court justice..No check on the President’s plan to privatize Social Security …No check on Republicans set on implementing a right-wing agenda…

The fight against the abuse of power has the full solidarity of Senate Democrats and millions of Americans across the country. In fact, helping us reach this one million signature total is Senator Kerry. Nearly 240,000 Americans from every state in the nation and DC itself responded to his petition and with their help, Senator Kerry placed an ad on this critical issue in yesterday’s USA Today.

Democrats have heard your voices, and we will continue this fight against absolute power – because this is not about us. It’s about you. It’s about protecting your voice and your rights…And making sure you continue to be heard in your government.