Senate Democrats

Reid: Challenges We Face As A Nation – Whether Threats To Our National Security Or Economic Security – Must Be Faced Together

Washington, D.C. Nevada Senator Harry Reid made the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the President’s proposed American Jobs Act. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

I applaud the bipartisan approach taken by the American Jobs Act President Obama described last night.

This common-sense plan will cut taxes for middle-class families and small businesses.

It will get laid-off teachers and first responders back to work. It will send construction workers to job sites around the country to build roads, bridges and schools. And it will ensure that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who have just returned from serving their country come home to good jobs.

It will also help Americans who have been unemployed for too long to keep their families afloat while they look for jobs.

Reagan Republicans would have embraced the reasonable, common-sense approach of the American Jobs Act.

All of the ideas in this legislation have been supported by both Democrats and Republicans in the past. Some of them came from Republicans in the first place.

And it won’t add a penny to the deficit. In fact, we all know reducing unemployment is the fastest way to reduce our deficit.

I urge reasonable Republicans to resist the voices of those who would oppose this legislation – and root for our economy to fail – for political reasons. They will see this proposal is made up of bipartisan ideas supported in the past by members of both parties.

They must not continue to bow to Tea Party Republicans willing to do anything to hurt the President. That is hurting our economy instead.

We cannot allow their radical political agenda to crowd out America’s jobs agenda.

The uncertainty of this summer – a fight over whether to default on our financial obligations and a shocking credit downgrade – has rocked an economy that was already shaking. But this fall – and this legislation – offers us an opportunity to set the American economy back on the right track.

I look forward to studying the President’s bill. The Senate will begin debate on this proposal as soon as possible.

I know not every part of the President’s legislation will be supported by every member of my caucus. Nor will every Republican love every idea the President described last night.

But I look forward to an open, honest and respectful debate.

I hope my Republican colleagues will contribute constructively to this process in the coming weeks, rather than resorting to the obstructionist tactics that have caused gridlock for the last eight months.

And I hope a new day of cooperation and compromise is dawning.

On the eve of Sept. 11th, I would ask that we all remember this: the challenges we face as a nation – whether threats to our national security or to our economic security – are best faced together.

This Sunday, my fellow Nevadans and I will join the rest of this great nation in remembrance of the tragic events of that fateful day 10 year ago. And we will mourn the thousands of innocent lives lost in New York, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon.

We will never forget the events of that Tuesday morning, which dawned so clear and blue, or how they changed our nation.

But we should also remember the spirit of unity and determination that blossomed amidst the darkness of that day.

In the weeks and months that followed, we were not Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, Red states and Blue states. We were Americans one and all.

Beneath the partisanship of Washington, that is as true today as it was ten years ago.

That doesn’t mean we will not disagree. In fact, the same freedom that allows us to disagree is the root of our Democracy.

But it does mean we must work together in the best interest of this great nation – and in the interests of every man or woman who calls America home – no matter how difficult.

Today, the greatest challenge facing this country is putting 14 million Americans back to work and returning our economy to prosperity. I look forward to tackling that that challenge as one nation.