Senate Democrats

Reid Remarks: House Bill Is A Blatant Attack On Bipartisanship

“The House bill is a blatant attack on bipartisanship.” 

“Extremist Republicans in the House of Representatives are attempting to torpedo the Senate’s bipartisan progress with a bill that cannot pass the Senate.” 

Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid spoke on the Senate floor today regarding House Republicans’ extreme proposal, which is dead on arrival in the Senate. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

The House Republican leadership’s plan to advance an extreme bill is nothing more than a blatant attack on bipartisanship.

For the past several days, we have been engaged in productive, bipartisan negotiations here in the Senate. We have been working across party lines, and making steady progress to achieve an agreement that reopens the government, protects the full faith and credit of the United States and opens talks to put this country on firm fiscal footing. Everyone needs to know that the measure under discussion in the House is no part of what we’ve negotiated here in the Senate.

I know I speak for many of us who have been working in good faith when I say that we felt blindsided by the news from the House. Extremist Republicans in the House of Representatives are attempting to torpedo the Senate’s bipartisan progress with a bill that cannot pass the Senate.

The House measure would take away the president’s fundamental authority – in place for decades – to prevent a catastrophic default on the nation’s bills. Out of spite, Tea Party Republicans are trying to take authority away from this President. They would never do this if it were President Romney, President Bush or President Reagan in the White House.

Their bill would also make unacceptable, major changes to ObamaCare.

And the House legislation doesn’t include a process for bipartisan negotiations on a sensible, long-term budget. For weeks, Republicans have claimed they want to negotiate. But their legislation completely ignores the need to work together to craft a budget and put our country on a fiscally sustainable path. For years, they complained about the lack of a budget – now they don’t want us to even negotiate a budget.

Introduction of this measure by House Republican leadership is unproductive and a waste of time. Let’s be clear: the House legislation cannot and will not pass the Senate, and the White House has said President Obama will not support it.

I am very disappointed that John Boehner would once again try to preserve his role as Speaker of the House at the expense of the country.

We have worked hard to rise above partisanship and find common ground in the Senate for the good of the nation. I am disappointed that Republicans in the House are trying to sabotage that success.