Senate Democrats

Reid Remarks On Small Business Innovation Bill

Washington, D.C.–Nevada Senator Harry Reid made the following remarks today on the Senate floor. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

“The bill before us on the Senate floor is the latest in a series of bills we’ve written to help small businesses grow.

“It supports a research and development program – the Small Business Innovation Research program – that has helped tens of thousands of small businesses create jobs and shape the future since President Reagan created it nearly 30 years ago.

“These investments work.  They have helped get great new ideas off the ground – everything from the electric toothbrush, to satellite antennae that helped first responders in Haiti, to technologies that keep our food safe and our military’s tanks from overheating in the desert.  There are success stories in every state and nearly every industry.

“Before the recess we spent days working on an agreement to have votes on three amendments to this bill, so we could move forward and finally pass it.

“Included in this agreement were Senator Cornyn’s amendment, which would establish a commission on government waste, and Senator Hutchison’s amendment, which is related to healthcare reform litigation.  Unfortunately, Senator Snowe objected to this agreement.

“During the course of many weeks debating this bill, we have made significant efforts to accommodate Senator Snowe and the rest of the Republican caucus on amendments.  We even had a vote on another amendment offered by Senator Snowe, as well as many other Republican amendments – nearly all of which had nothing to do with the underlying bill.

“In light of our accommodation of extraneous amendments, it’s difficult for me to understand why we cannot finish debate on this bill.  We have been more than fair.  We should be able to reach agreement on considering some remaining amendments and voting on final passage of the bill.

“But it appears we are unable to do that.  I had  no choice but to file cloture in order to bring this debate to a close – and that’s what I did last night.

“This has been on the floor for far too long, and we need to resolve it so we can move on to other matters.”