Senate Democrats

Reid, in Democratic Radio Address, Highlights Democrats’ Accomplishments in First Six Months

Washington, DC — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada delivers this week’s Democratic Radio Address, highlighting Democrats’ success in delivering on promises to move America forward, put working families first and make our nation safer.

Click here (mp3 file) to listen to the address.

The text of the radio address, as delivered, is below:

"Hello, this is Senator Harry Reid of Nevada. My hometown of Searchlight had only about 250 people when I was born, but we celebrated the Fourth of July the way any other American town did back then – with firecrackers, sparklers, sack races, and in Searchlight, mine drilling contests. We spent time with family and friends and felt fortunate for the things we had, even if in hindsight, it wasn’t much.

"Now, many Fourth of Julys later, I have never felt more fortunate than these past six months that I have served our country as Senate Majority Leader. And in these first months of our majority, Democrats have worked every day to form the more perfect union our founders envisioned.

"On day one of the new Congress, we passed the toughest ethics reform in history to restore faith in the integrity of our government. We have honored our commitment to the working families that built our country and keep it great by:

  • passing a balanced budget with tax cuts for working people;
  • raising the minimum wage for the first time in ten years;
  • extending health insurance to thousands of children of working class parents; and
  • providing disaster relief for farmers and ranchers after three years of Republican inaction.

"And finally, over President Bush’s objection, we provided funds for Gulf Coast recovery so that families devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita can return to their homes.

"We said we would make America safer, and we delivered. We passed the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission – after Republicans had let them languish for five years. And just last week, we passed a comprehensive energy bill that reduces our dependence on oil from unstable countries, tackles record gas prices, makes cars more fuel-efficient for the first time in over 25 years, and gets serious about global warming.

"We said we would put our faith in the hope of stem cell research, and we did – but once again, President Bush vetoed funding this research that could save millions of lives.

"And perhaps our most important commitment of all was to stand by our troops and their families. We passed legislation to change course in Iraq, only to see the President veto it. But we also supplied our troops with better equipment and protection, and provided our veterans with the health care they have earned.

"In these first six months, we have kept our commitment to make America safer, stronger and more prosperous. But it’s more than fair to say that the progress we’ve made has not come easy. Too many Republicans have stood in the way of progress instead of helping us lead the way. The immigration vote we had this week was just the latest example. With that bill, we had a rare chance to make progress on one of the country’s top problems. The overwhelming majority of Democrats voted to move forward on a bill even President Bush supported, but just a handful of Republicans joined us.

"Voting against a bill on a matter of principle is one thing. But Republican obstruction has gotten so bad that now they’re blocking bills that they actually support. The ethics reform bill passed by a vote of 96-2, but now Republicans are blocking it. The 9/11 Commission bill passed with heavy Republican support, but they are also blocking this critical legislation.

"To go forward, we will need far more Republicans to put partisan politics aside and work with us for the American people. This can start next week with the Defense Authorization bill, which is a new opportunity to change course in Iraq. While a growing number of Republicans are saying the right things on Iraq, we’ll soon find out if they have the courage to vote the right way too.

"The challenges ahead are not easy. But as we celebrate Independence Day – our nation’s birthday – and reflect upon the values that bind us together, let’s never forget that ours is a country of progress and optimism – and we will always keep moving forward."