Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today on the floor of the U.S. Senate before voting to advance the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act toward a final vote tomorrow. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“The millions of Americans who are out of work, struggling to keep their homes and make one paycheck last until the next one comes, deserve to hear five words from Congress: Help is on the way.
“Moments from now, we will have the opportunity to vote to move forward on President Obama’s economic recovery plan and put an end to the filibuster now stopping this legislation from helping the American people.
“This legislation is not a silver bullet. The economic anguish that President Obama inherited from the previous administration is far too severe to be solved in one day or one week or by one piece of legislation. Recovery will take time. The American people understand that. They have patience for the long road that lies ahead.
“But they do not have patience for a Congress that points fingers, drags its feet or fails to act. We have already shown the American people we can act on a bipartisan basis – that’s how we passed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.
“This week, United States Senators from both parties met the seriousness of the economic crisis with an earnest approach to solving this emergency. With the help of the dedicated work of Senators Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and Arlen Specter, we now have the opportunity to support legislation that will put America back to work.
“At a time of escalating job loss, it will create as many as 4 million new American jobs. At a time when middle class families are finding it harder to make ends meet, it provides desperately needed tax relief. At a time of crumbling roads and ever greater reliance on foreign oil, it invests in infrastructure and renewable energy. And at a time of deepening complexities in the global marketplace, it better equips our schools to prepare American students for success.
“Our job does not end here; it begins. In the coming weeks and months, we will turn to legislation offered by the Obama Administration to fix our badly broken financial sector and to stabilize the housing market. And as we have with Ledbetter, CHIP and this economic recovery plan, we need to continue to work together to solve the problems our great nation faces. Nevada and all of America deserve nothing less.”