Senator Harry Reid’s Statement on the 81st Anniversary of Social Security

Social SecurirtyOn Sunday, we celebrate 81 years of the most successful government program in American history – Social Security. On August 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, declaring his effort to “frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age.” Since that day, Social Security has expanded to give even more Americans the support they need. Over eight decades later, President Roosevelt’s vision endures, providing millions with the economic security they have earned and deserve.

Social Security embodies the best of our American values. It promises all Americans that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can retire in dignity. And if you become disabled or lose the breadwinner in the family, Social Security will be there to protect you and your family.

Seniors across Nevada and throughout America have earned their Social Security benefits. They rely on them to put food on the table, make the rent and pay the bills, especially during tough economic times. Some extreme voices claim this is a government handout, but that is flat out wrong. Social Security is a benefit that hard working Americans earn, by working and paying into the system.

Social Security has been a remarkable success. Before Social Security, more than 50 percent of older Americans lived in poverty. Today, less than 9 percent of seniors live in poverty. This is the direct result of Social Security.

Unfortunately, despite decades of success, many Republicans continue to threaten the future of Social Security. Republican leaders routinely exaggerate the financial challenges facing the program in an effort to create a false sense of crisis. And many want to delay the retirement age, cut benefits and, ultimately, privatize the program, putting our seniors at the mercy of the stock market.

I have spent my career fending off attacks against Social Security. I understand how critical this vital program is for Nevada’s seniors, and I will continue the fight to ensure it is there to provide our seniors with the retirement security they deserve.

Social Security represents a trust between the government and hardworking Americans who contribute in good faith. We must make sure that this solemn promise is honored for many more decades to come.

For more information and to learn more about my work in the Senate on behalf of Nevadans or to contact me, please visit reid.senate.gov, sign up for my e-newsletter, The Reid Report, or connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.

Sincerely,

HARRY REID
U.S. Senator for Nevada

DNC Convention Tribute to Harry Reid

Yesterday, at the Democratic National Convention, Harry Reid addressed the delegates, but speech was introduced with a video tribute:

 

Transcript:

You know, I’ve spent a lot of time in a Republican Senate, so it’s nice to be a room that respects reason and facts.

I appreciate the the tribute. I really do I appreciate the tribute. But anything I’ve accomplished I owe to the great Senate teammates I’ve had, my democratic senate caucus, Nancy Peloci in in the House, President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden. And I give a never ending tribute for ur next president Hillary Clinton.

As a team, we fought for the believe that affordable health care is a right not a privilege. As a team, we fought the idea we shouldn’t get the bill for Wall Street’s bad bets. As a team, we fought for the promise that your hard earned Social Security is a sacred trust.

Donald Trump and Mike Pence want to put insurance companies back in charge of your health. Donald Trump and Mike Pence want to let big banks run wild again. And, Donald Trump and Mike Pence want to gamble with your retirement benefit in the stock market. Republicans want to tear down the pillars of middle class security. We won’t let that happen.

And I have never seen anything more craven than Mitch McConnell and what he’s done to our democracy. His Republican Party decided that the answer to our hard-working American dreams is to slander our African American President, stoke fear of Muslims, sold hatred of Latinos, sold hatred of Asians and of course, waged war against women. In other words, the only things Republicans like Mitch McConnell have accomplished is setting the stage for a hateful con man, Donald Trump.

When Trump decided to run for President, he probably said to himself. I’m an ego maniac. I don’t believe in science. I think women are inferior. Where would I feel at home. We know where that is.

Parents, you’re right to worry about your children hearing what comes out of the Donald Trump’s mouth. Republicans. You should have been careful also, because Donald Trump learned it from watching you.

You know they say that they believe in country first. What a joke!

Republicans who won’t stand up to Trump. believe in one thing. and one thing only — Party first. And this year, 2016, they’ve gone even further, nominating the poster child of “ME first.”

Trump knew that hateful rhetoric and dangerous policies are the way to win and today’s GOP. But that’s not how you win in America. And that’s not how America wins in the world. Democrats know. We win with an economy that works for everybody. With a strong, smart, national security that values our allies and doesn’t advise a cyber attack on our country.

And we know winning is the work of the team. With Hillary in the White House and a majority in the Senate, Democrats will keep fighting. For immigration reform, that keeps America true. For clean energy that keeps America strong. And for a Supreme Court keeps America just. And — background checks for gun buyers and an assault weapons ban that keeps America safe.

Since my boxing days, I find my share fights. In my fifty years of fighting for Nevadans, I’ve also realized that a leader is actually a corner man. A corner man, someone who stands on your side who has your back in a fight. Middle class families fighting to give your kids a better life — Democrats’ stand in your corner. Americans fighting for the equality and respect our nation promises you — we’re in your corner. For Americans risking everything to get here and then finally making here — we’re in your corner.

You’re the ones fighting the hardest fights.  You’re the ones who need leaders in your corner. Leaders like mine forever friend, Bernie Sanders. Leaders like. Catherine Cortez Masto — who’s going to help Democrats take back the senate. Leaders who never back down.  And oh do we love Tim Kaine. We really do. Leaders who’ve had your back their whole live,s like Hillary Clinton, the most qualified and prepared candidate in the history of America. In a few months, I’ll be stepping out of the ring one last time, but Democrats will always, always be in your corner. So, together let’s keep fighting together, fighting the good fight.

Thank you very much.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid Announces His Retirement

— by CAP Action War Room

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid Announces His Retirement

Reid2Retire

Today, Senate Democrats’ fearless leader Harry Reid announced he won’t seek reelection in 2016, signaling the end of a more than three decade-long career in congress. In his video announcement Sen. Reid assured his supporters that his decision had nothing to do with an eye injury he sustained on New Year’s Day, or the fact that the 2014 elections changed his title from Majority Leader to Minority Leader. Like the boxer he was as a young man, and the fighter he was throughout his time in the Senate, Reid promised to go out swinging: “My friend Sen. McConnell, don’t be too elated. I’m gonna be here for 22 months, and you know what I’m going to be doing? The same thing I’ve done since I first came to the Senate.”

Reid’s services to Nevadans and Americans are innumerable; he brought his own life story of struggle and hard work to the Senate with him each day. And the mark he left on the capitol will be remembered for years to come. To commemorate his outstanding service, ThinkProgress put together a list of just five (you have to draw the line somewhere) of his landmark achievements in the Senate, which we have adapted below:

  • Pushed filibuster reform through the Senate. In 2013, Sen. Reid facilitated a change in Senate procedure that prohibited filibusters in the nomination progress, allowing a wave of new judges to be named to important appeals courts.
  • Facilitated the Passage of the Affordable Care Act. As majority leader in 2009, Sen. Reid was an integral part of the vote counting and whipping process that allowed the President’s landmark law to be passed without one Republican vote.
  • Engineered Comprehensive Immigration Reform in the Senate. Sen. Reid personally fought for and passed comprehensive, bipartisan immigration bill that passed the Senate in 2013. Unfortunately the Republican-led House never took up the bill, despite overwhelming popular support, so the President was forced to take action without Congress.
  • Advocated for protections for LGBT Americans. Sen. Reid has publicly supported marriage equality, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), and supported the President taking executive action to ban workplace discrimination against LGBT federal contractors.
  • Protected the environment of his home state. Sen. Reid memorably blocked an attempt to use Nevada’s Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste site, despite approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and pressure from Republicans. He also championed Nevada’s transition away from coal reliance in advocating the state’s energy bill “NVision” that called on the state’s largest utility to eliminate a percentage of coal generation from its portfolio. Additionally, he worked across the aisle to establish Nevada’s Great Basin National Park, protecting more than 77,000 acres of public land.

BOTTOM LINE: Overcoming a challenging upbringing with hard work to become one of the most formidable forces for change in American politics, Harry Reid’s life story is the embodiment of the American Dream. It’s part of the reason why he has worked so hard to open the door of opportunity for more Americans. His presence on Capitol Hill will be missed, but his legacy will remain. And if his last 30 years in Congress are any indication, we are looking forward to the next 22 months.


This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.  Like CAP Action on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

#ItsNotUpToThem Week

— Roberta Lange, Nevada State Democratic Party Chair

A few weeks ago, the United States Supreme Court issued a backwards ruling that allows for-profit corporate CEOs to make medical decisions that should be made between a woman and her doctor.  That’s right – in the year 2014, the Supreme Court thinks female employees’ healthcare decisions should be made in a corporate boardroom, not a doctor’s office.

This week, the United States Senate will vote on legislation to address the Supreme Court’s ruling and ensure women who work at for-profit corporations have access to reproductive healthcare.  While Democrats like Senator Reid, Reps. Dina Titus and Steven Horsford, and Erin Bilbray support ensuring women have access to reproductive healthcare, Republicans like Dean Heller and Joe Heck have consistently voted to restrict women’s access to contraception.

In support of the Senate bill, Nevada Democrats are launching #ItsNotUpToThem week.  All week we will be highlighting how dangerous the Republican agenda is for the health of Nevada women.  Because whether it’s Mark Hutchison leading the charge to go back to a time where private insurance companies could treat being a woman as a pre-existing condition, or Joe Heck voting to weaken the Violence Against Women Act, it’s time we send a message to Nevada Republicans that women’s healthcare decisions aren’t up to them or corporate bosses.

Sign your name here to tell Republicans it’s 2014, not 1914.    


Please note that Roberta mentioned Candidate Erin Bilbray who is running agains Rep. Joe Heck, but failed to mention Kristen Spees who is running against Rep. Mark Amodei to represent those of us who are unfortunate enough to live in NV-Congressional District 2!

Party Of The 1% Filibustered Debate on Minimum Wage Increase

—by CAP Action War Room

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GOP Senators Vote Against Working Americans And Block Minimum Wage Increase

A minority of 41 Senators, all Republicans (and YES, that includes Sen. Dean Heller), voted today to block debate and a vote on a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10. Once again, the GOP followed the orders of the Koch brothers to keep our economy working for only the wealthiest.

Earnings for the top 1 percent have gone up 177% (PDF) since 1980. Meanwhile, minimum wage workers are actually making 16% less. But Republican Senators are still refusing to give them a raise:

GOP-MinWage

What’s more, instead of voting to give 28 million people as much as a $4,000 raise each, these GOP Senators instead took checks from leading lobbyists from big corporations opposed to raising it. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, for instance, has taken $118,000 since 2008:

MinWage02

Let’s go over just a few of the groups that these 41 Senate Republicans — whose average net worth is $6.26 million — were voting against in deciding to not even allow debate on the minimum wage bill:

Whether or not this issue personally affects you, chances are you know someone for whom this would make a difference.  The average worker who would benefit is 35 years old, and more than half are women.  It’s a single mother trying to make sure her kids have enough to eat. It’s a college student working to pay her way through school. And they deserve a raise.

Despite today’s vote, this issue will not go away, no matter how hard Republicans wish it would. The 42nd ‘no’ vote came from Majority Leader Harry Reid, a procedural move in order to preserve the option of bringing the bill up again. And just before the vote took place, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) issued a clear indication on the Senate floor that this fight is long from over: “If we don’t succeed this time … we will bring this bill to the floor again and again and again. Sooner or later we will get it done.”  (Editor’s remark:  Frankly … if the House can vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act 53 time, it’s perfectly acceptable with me for the Senate to have to vote, and re-vote on this at least once a week until they incur some serious wrath from the constituents and finally cast a YES vote.)

BOTTOM LINE: Instead of raising the minimum wage and giving Americans who work hard a better opportunity to get ahead, Senate Republicans have shown once again that they’re against the 99%. But this fight is far from over. Those who vote against everyday Americans — many of whom have voted for similar minimum wage increases in the past — are on the wrong side of history.


This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.

PFAW Praises Senate for This Week’s Action on Judicial Confirmations

After a two week recess, the Senate has made significant progress in judicial confirmations on its first week back. This is not due to a drop in Republican obstruction, but instead to Majority Leader Harry Reid’s determination to overcome that obstruction. Only one week during President Obama’s administration has seen more judicial confirmations. Since Monday, over GOP filibuster efforts, the Senate has confirmed eight district court nominees and one circuit court nominee, while breaking the filibuster of a second circuit court nominee. Nancy L. Moritz’s nomination to the Tenth Circuit is scheduled for Monday, May 5.

Clearing so many of President Obama’s judicial nominations is a nearly unprecedented occurrence for a Senate that has been bogged down by Republican obstruction every step of the way. People For the American Way’s Executive Vice President Marge Baker released the following statement:

“This was a good week for our justice system, with nine judges confirmed to the bench. Americans saw critical advancement in confirming the circuit court nominees who have been denied a vote for months. A Ninth Circuit judge was confirmed, and the filibuster of a Tenth Circuit judge was broken. We applaud the Senate for moving forward on these confirmations, which are crucial for our justice system to run efficiently and serve everyday Americans. It is heartening to see the Senate taking this important step to strengthen our judiciary.

“Senator Reid’s efforts to prioritize this issue and clear President Obama’s judicial nominations are making an impact. Despite Senate Republicans blocking nominees and delaying votes from the beginning, Senator Reid has pushed to move these nominations forward and this week, we’ve seen that work pay off.

“We hope to continue to see the Senate working for the benefit of American citizens by giving them the fully functioning courts they deserve.”

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Give the Post Office a Break

If the Postal Service were run like Congress, postal workers would only show up on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays — except when they were on vacation, which would be a lot.

— by Donald Kaul

Donald Kaul

The Postal Service says it’s going to stop delivering mail on Saturdays. This won’t happen until August, but the overseers of our postal workers in Congress are already swooning.

Outrageous” is the cry rolling through the halls of the Capitol.

Can’t help it, responds Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe. Our postal service is hemorrhaging money, he says, and we have to cut back. Cutting Saturday delivery would save $2.7 billion a year.

I don’t know about you, but my mail consists mainly of bills, circulars, and requests for money. I can get by with five days of that instead of six.

Apparently Congress can’t. Many of our lawmakers are fuming. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called it “short-sighted” and a “crippling blow.”

Whoa! Am I hearing right?

Listen, if the Postal Service were run like Congress, postal workers would only show up on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays — except when they were on vacation, which would be a lot.

Postal workers would repeatedly go overseas on fact-finding missions and come back empty-handed. Empty-headed too, for that matter.

image

They’d have to change their motto from, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” to, “Will deliver mail for campaign contributions.”

The postal system today is under siege from the Internet. The volume of mail handled by the postal service dropped 22 percent between 2007 and 2011. People complain about the Postal Service all the time. But that’s largely because people these days complain about almost everything all the time.

My own experience with the Post Office has been excellent. The clerks at the office I frequent are polite and helpful. The mail I send gets where it’s going in a reasonable time. And my postman knows my name.

The Postal Service is a strange, hybrid creature. It’s not quite private, but not completely public either. It doesn’t get any money from Congress, but Congress gets to decide how it runs its business.

It’s saddled by our lawmakers, for example, with the obligation of setting aside $5.5 billion every year for future retirees, an obligation that no other entity, public or private, endures.

Meanwhile, we have the cheapest first class rates in the English-speaking world.

A first class stamp in Canada costs 63 cents. In the United Kingdom, it’s the equivalent of 94 cents. Here, it’s 46 cents. And we complain about that, naturally.

The Postal Service is running about a $16 billion-a-year deficit these days. It has some ideas to close the gap, beyond getting rid of the pre-funding of retirement benefits and dropping Saturday delivery. It would like to reduce door-to door service in favor of centralized neighborhood mailboxes, and run its own health care system. But it can’t do all of that without Congress’s cooperation, which seems to have gone on permanent vacation.

Sometimes I think we’d be better off if we let Congress run the mail system and let postal workers run the country.

At least they’d show up for work.


OtherWords
columnist Donald Kaul lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. OtherWords.org

THAT, Sen. Reid, is NOT Filibuster Reform!

Yesterday, as we faced our ONLY chance until 2015 to fix the filibuster, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did NOT act boldly. Instead, he consigned the Senate, and the American people as a whole, to two more years of continued crippling gridlock.

Rather than pushing for real reform, Sen. Reid agreed to a compromised “bait-and-switch” deal that he and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell may call “filibuster reform,” but which we all know will do next to nothing to actually fix misuse of the filibuster.  S.Res.16, the standing rules for the 113th session of the Senate, not only didn’t fix the filibuster problem (i.e., 60 votes will still be required to pass even the most routine bill), but Sen. Reid gave away the shop by agreeing to give the GOP opportunities to add TWO “poison pill” amendments to each of those bills managing to make it to the floor for debate and vote.  How is that progress?  It’s like taking one step forward to make it slightly easier to get judicial and cabinet appointments processed in a more timely fashion, only to take 10 steps backward on dealing with routine and necessary business.

As Senator Reid is fond of saying himself, “let’s be crystal clear” about this issue.  Senator Reid could have secured the votes to pass a stronger measure had he chosen to lead the way.  We all clearly heard him boast on the media that he actually had the 51 votes he needed.  Senators Merkley and Udall showed tremendous leadership in educating their fellow senators and the public about the need to fix the Senate, and they offered concrete proposals to do so.  But, Sen. Reid struck yet another “hand shake” deal with Sen. McConnell who’s probably still laughing to this moment at Senator Reid’s naivety.  One needs to ask: “why did he throw those votes under the bus?”

What’s that old phrase?  “Fool me once, shame on you — Fool me twice —shame on me?”  When is Senator Reid going to realize that Senator McConnell has a hidden agenda and that his “word” cannot be trusted?  This is now the second session in a row Sen. Reid has sold out his fellow Democrats by striking a bad deal with Sen. McConnell.  We desperately needed him to deliver strong filibuster reform, and again, he didn’t.  Sen. Reid is treading on thin ice as he has now “fooled us twice.” We’ll be taking a serious look at how the 113th Congress unfolds and whether his “compromise” will make matters better, or worse, for the American people as a whole.

Harry — Fix the Filibuster on Day One

On November 6th, Democrats achieved a stunning victory, but all of that will be for naught if the Senate filibuster is allowed to remain in place.  Republican obstructionists will continue to use it to “rule by the minority” and obstruct everything for at least the next 2 years, continuing to hope that they can take the Senate and hold the House.

As each session of Congress begins, one of the first items of business is to adopt a set of rules that will be used to conduct business during that session of Congress.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid needs to finally stand up and find the intestinal fortitude to END THE FILIBUSTER.  It takes only 51 votes to adopt the rules, and we’ve given him 53 Democratic Senators and 2 Independent Senators who will caucus with the Democrats.  So, Harry, it’s time, end it!

Oh, and while you’re at it Harry, either END SECRET HOLDS or limit the amount of time a Senator may place such a hold to no more than 3 business days and that no more that 3 successive holds may be exercised on ANY bill.  ( I suggest 3 business days because the GOP seems quite fond of the 3-day rule by which administrators at regulatory agencies must be required to take action. So if it’s good enough to require that for them, hey, it’s good enough for the Senate.)  The original intent of the secret hold was to provide sufficient time for the Senator exercising the hold to read and research the bill in question.  The GOP has abused that rule for partisan ideological gain and it has to stop.  And, so we, as the interested public, can verify all are playing by the rules, how about creating a” transparency” web page listing the bills that have been held, the date the bill was “held,” and the date the hold was lifted.

Sen. Reid, YOU and you alone have an opportunity to put a stop to the obstruction in the Senate.  We’re counting on you to take action to stop it on DAY ONE of the 113th Congressional Session.