Washington, DC— Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Later today, Democrats will try to move forward on a bill sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans that creates jobs at a time when we need them the most. I encourage Republicans to join us.
“Democrats will do our jobs – using this great legislative body to legislate – and make life better for struggling Americans. I encourage my Republican colleagues to do the same.
“The Travel Promotion bill is critical for our economy.
“Travel and tourism generate a trillion dollars in economic activity every year – and in its first year, this bill will create 40,000 new jobs.
“This bill will also cut our deficit by $425 million over the next 10 years.
“We would be taking the strategies that have made Las Vegas such a success and bringing them to our entire nation’s tourism industry.
“It is one of the many ways we are working to create jobs and help our economy recover.
“But so far, Republicans have shown no interest in doing either of those things. I hope that in this case, past is not prologue.
“Let’s get the facts straight: At the start of this debate, we said we would let Republicans offer non-germane amendments to this bill, and that they could have more than we would.
“Not a single one of the Republican amendments was related to this bill, and some of those amendments were even duplicates.
“Of course, Republicans said no. They refused to let us move forward, once again wasting the American people’s time and money.
“It is difficult to watch what is going on here and come away with the sense that Republicans have even the slightest interest in legislating – or that they have the slightest understanding of what families are facing across the country.
“A Republican Senator said this last week to one of the newspapers that covers Capitol Hill: ‘Democrats need to know when they bring [bills] up, we’re going to extend the debate as long as we can — even if we can’t win it.’
“I say to that Republican Senator: This is not a game.
“And I say to those watching and listening today: The next time Republicans trot out their stale, standard talking points about Congressional approval ratings or the inefficiency of government, pay attention to see whether they also quote their fellow Republican Senator, who admits that they are not here to work.
“These partisan tactics have consequences. Those consequences will be evident on every kitchen table, every family budget and every American’s peace of mind.
“I encourage Republicans to join us in moving forward with this important Travel Promotion bill, and to ultimately passing it so we can create jobs here at home and help our economy recover and prosper once again.”