The spotlight is on Nevada’s senior senator, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and it is casting some dark and ugly shadows.
Practically every news report out of Washington in the past few weeks has featured a snarling and snapping Harry Reid — sort of like the Reid who, when asked by a reporter about funding child cancer treatments during the government shutdown, snapped, “Why would we want to do that?” and then called her “irresponsible and reckless” for asking the question.
Fellow Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee has declared that the Senate is broken and its Reid’s fault. He said Reid’s unilateral killing of the filibuster for nominations ended the Senate. “While it ignores its own rules, today’s meek Senate watches as the Obama administration changes the health care law, suspends immigration laws, and rewrites labor laws,” he said.
Fellow Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma said Reid has appointed himself to be a Rules Committee of one. He points out that the Democratic whining about Republicans abusing the filibuster is a diversion from Reid’s strong arm tactics that have emasculated the GOP minority. Using parliamentary procedures, Reid has cut off debate and prevented the minority from offering amendments 78 times — more than all other Senate majority leaders combined, ever. Reid has boasted, “The amendment days are over.”
Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel has flatly stated Washington is gridlocked solely because of Harry Reid.
“Here’s how the Senate ‘works’ these days,” Strassel explains. “Mr. Reid writes the legislation himself, thereby shutting Republicans out of the committee drafting. Then he outlaws amendments.
“So yes, there are filibusters. They have become the GOP’s only means of protesting Mr. Reid’s total control over what is meant to be a democratic body. It isn’t that the Senate can’t work; it’s that Sen. Reid won’t let it.”
Legislation simply goes to die in Reid’s Senate. No budgets have passed, no jobs bills, no immigration bills, no federal land bills. While the federal government holds title to 85 percent of the land in Nevada, the only thing Reid pushes is giving more land to the federal agencies who block development and economic benefits.
For every dollar Nevadans send to Washington, we get back 65 cents. That’s the second worst return among the states, though we have the supposedly most powerful senator. For whom is he wielding this power?
The 74-year-old Reid says he is running for re-election in two years, though he was hospitalized for exhaustion recently after a routine week.
But for Reid to maintain his grip on power come next January, a majority of senators elected in November must be Democrats. We in Nevada are standing on the sidelines since neither Reid nor Sen. Dean Heller is on the ballot, but the outcome will greatly effect our state and the country. Thus, it is incumbent on all Nevadans to let their friends in other states know it is in all our best interests to return Reid to minority status.