June 30th, 2007
01:12 PM ET
11 years ago

Senate leader blames Republicans for legislative gridlock

(CNN)–Too many congressional Republicans have stood in the way of legislative progress Senator Harry Reid said Saturday.

"The immigration vote we had this week was just the latest example," the Nevada senator said in the weekly Democratic radio address. "With that bill, we had a rare chance to make progress on one of the country's top problems. The overwhelming majority of Democrats voted to move forward on a bill even President Bush supported, but just a handful of Republicans joined us."

Reid was also critical of Republicans regarding legislation currently pending in the Senate. "The ethics reform bill passed by a vote of 96-2, but now Republicans are blocking it. The 9/11 commission bill passed with heavy Republican support, but they are also blocking this critical legislation."

In his remarks, Reid said putting partisan politics aside was the best way forward. "This can start next week with the Defense Authorization Bill, which is a new opportunity to change course in Iraq." The bill is expected to include measures that would seek to hasten a pull out of U.S. troops from Iraq. "While a growing number of Republicans are saying the right things on Iraq, we'll soon find out if they have the courage to vote the right way also."

- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

Filed under: Harry Reid • Immigration • Iraq • Senate
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Bob Earl, Miami, Florida

    Dear Republican & Democrat Politicians,

    You two partites only point the fingers at each other & never yourselves.

    The American citizens are well aware that neither of you give a damn about the public.

    What further evidence does the public need other than neither party wants to protect our citizens by closing our border to terrorists. All they do is have an excuse as to why they can't do it.


    Time for a rEVOLution!


    June 30, 2007 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  2. Mike, Omaha Nebraska

    Lol...good luck with the revolution.

    Newsflash pal, I couldn't be more unhappy with my current government but we still leave in the best time in all of American history. We have overcome worse times than this and we will face worse times.

    Close the borders!? You are wrong, if we close the borders the economy suffers and the heart and soul of America dies. I am proud to the descedant of Irish and Italian immigrants who saw what America was and traveled here to make a better life.

    Those who support closing the borders are unpatriotic people.

    We do however, need to secure out borders from illegal immigrants, but please, let the ones who want to come here come legally. Nothing wrong with that.

    And OH, good luck with the revolution which probably won't leave your moms basement...lol...

    June 30, 2007 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. Bill W, Coatesville, PA

    The point of the article is that the Democrats can't accomplish anything, because they don't have enough of a majority and are blocked at every turn by Republicans – well, one Republican in particular, the one who holds Veto power.

    And as far as "living in the best time in all of American history" – far, far from it. Wages are stagnating, housing prices are unaffordable, and many of us live in fear of losing our jobs to outsourcing or immigrant workers. Gas costs a fortune. Our rights are being eroded by a president and vice president who do whatever they please and feel they have to answer to no one. Warrantless wire taps and secret torture camps. We have troops dying every day in a war no one supports. The Supreme Court doesn't even stand behind the people, saying its OK for companies to use emminent domain to take people's homes for commerical development. We're under attack by Muslim and other radical groups. We've had airplanes flown into our buildings and its only a matter of time until one of these radical groups succeeds in attacking us with a biological, chemical, or nuclear weapon.

    Best times ever? I hate to think about what the worst might be like.

    June 30, 2007 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. Andrea, Los Angeles, CA

    It is quite interesting how the public is more concerned about the direction in which our country is going then or own politicians. I feel that as a citizen of the United States, I am not being counted as part of our democracy. I feel that the politicians only laugh us and do what they please in order to gain more money and help for what they want. Now that its almost the 4th of July, the day where we celebrate the birth of freedom and democracy, is it not ironic that we are not being really treated as such? Like the first comment said, both Democrats and Republicans point a finger at each other but they never truly blame themselves. Congress keeps getting worse as the time goes by which is disappointing because it should be getting better. I cannot stand when our politicians yell at each other and call each other names on the TV screen but outside they act like old friends. It is time that our Congress starts taking action for what they have promised because the American people cannot be fooled anymore. We are not as stupid as they think we are. I am not calling for a revolution as the first person said, because that would just be crazy and rather ignorant but I do say that it is time that both Democrats and Republicans start taking action and start hearing what the people are saying. As for the illegal immigration I agree with the second commenter. We cannot close our borders because it would be unpatriotic. Think about it, what is this country made of? Immigrants. So if we push them away, that would be totally against our own ideals, no?

    But anyways, as much as I would love to keep debating over our Congress, there is no use to it unless they listen.

    June 30, 2007 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  5. Robert Bateman, Weaverville, CA

    If Congress voted like we do, with each item standing on it's own feet, they would get a lot more done.
    The All or Nothing approach is the major part of the stagnation.
    But, like the previous poster stated, if they don't listen to us, it won't matter what we say.
    I think the truth lies somewhere in between, and we don't have enough good leaders to make a difference.
    We surely don't have a President.

    July 1, 2007 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  6. Scott Williams, Carmel, IN

    Mike in Omaha – feel free to read. Bob Earl didn't just say "close the borders." The correct quote is, "closing our border to terrorists." Also, no one I've read is against *legal* immigration, so where are these "unpatriotic people" of which you speak? And I'm guessing the "best time in all of American history" was around the end of WWII. After all, it did result in a baby boom, so how bad could that have been? 🙂

    July 1, 2007 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  7. K Ols

    We will not have good government until we remove the excessive influence of corporations and their lobbyists. We need publicly funded elections which would help "make" the politicians listen to what the public wants. What we have today is government of, by and for the corporation.

    It's obvious that the majority of U.S. citizens do not want a guest worker program. If we must swallow this bitter pill than the number here on work visas must be very limited. Those who want a guest worker program really want to establish a permanent under class and drive our wages down.

    No politician ever completes the sentence when they say Americans won't take those jobs. Americans won't take those jobs at low pay without benefits.

    If we need foreign workers than send them all home and bring back in only the number we need. We can not afford to let this issue fester while Americans get stuck with their medical and education expenses while building more schools to accomodate the children of illegals. Bring in only the numbers needed and make them pay their share of taxes.

    Meanwhile the illegals are having "anchor babies" for which the American tax payer foots the bill. They get over $1,000 a month from taxpayers for every "anchor baby" they have.

    July 1, 2007 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  8. Larry, Fredericksburg, Texas

    Harry Reid tries to blame the Republicans for the defeat of the immigrations bill: Let's see, 14 DEMOCRATS voted AGAINST the bill and 12 Republicans voted for it. The final vote was 46 Yeas, 53 Nays. Therefore, had those 14 DEMOCRATS voted for the bill it would have passed 60 to 39. So let's be honest, Harry. The Democrats killed the immigration bill. No wonder 75% of Americans don't like congress. They lie right to your face!

    July 1, 2007 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  9. Jerry Hall OFallon MO.


    You still miss the point. Compromise is a two way street," Not the my way or the highway" approach. This gridlock in Washington continues because of
    no one legislates any more. Common
    ground is a DMZ. The examples that continually surface from the current politicians, only polarizes the left and the right. Where did all of the moderates go?? Maybe that slogan should be a bumper sticker, Mr. Edwards! Ask the UK if the war on Terror is a bumper sticker.

    Instead of starving the military financially, maybe a new approach in Iraq would be for the US to install a new government. The current one does not work!!
    Don't export ours, because it is in gridlock just like the Iraqi Government. Maybe install a new Sunni leader, less gridlock, more results.

    July 1, 2007 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  10. Kenneth S. Ford Boise, Idaho

    The reason the ILLEGAL ALIEN AMNESTY BILL FAILED IS BECAUSE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SPOKE. Reid exposed himself and other criminal supporters when he said he didn't care about the opinion of the AMERICAN PEOPLE and quoted Burke on the Senate floor before the cloture vote to prove it. What we need is a clean sweep of those Democrats and Republicans who feel that way. Ken Ford

    July 1, 2007 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  11. Alvaro, Bentonville, AR

    to all the Republicans and Democrats, stop dening the legal status of those that bring in your income. All you are doing is stalling hoping that racism and the blame of other is to judge how to treat the immigrants of this country. At first i thanked this country for the opportunities that it gives for example my legal status of a resident but thanks to you all i see is a bunch of self absorbed people that want noting to do with the real problems of this growing giant. Also on behalf of those who waited on this resolution thank you for the low blow you gave us. by the way Kennith from boise idaho that was not the people who spoke that was the gut of those that want to separate the families bulit here on the basis of immigration so before you say it is the american people spoke look at the stats we immigrants are bigger in population but we didn't get heard

    July 1, 2007 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. JC, Boca Raton, FL

    First of all, We ought get out of our comfort zone and get things done in America for real. Immigration is a difficult issue because it inspire different emotions in all sides. The problem is not so much about illegals being here – the real situation comes to what is needed to be done to solve the problem – roughly speaking even if we would be able to at this exact point block one more illegal from entering our borders and we would start enforcing deportation to all of them – if we would deport about a thousand a day – it would take us around 36 years to deport 12 millions. In another words – we have a huge problem which the senate, the congress and the American people should solve without emotions. It is pathetic to hear talk shows and TV News commentators manipulating the public opinion by saying the illegals are criminals. We have to put things in the right perspective – They are not right but associate them with terrorists is stupidity. 9/11 terrorists had no passports from neither South or Central America. These people come here to work and they do not take American jobs – This is another lie – The outsourcing to India and China is what is taking American jobs not a guy who barely speaks his own language – To think that they do steal jobs is naive and wrong. Now that we need border security that is true – Terrorists are 24 hours a day studying our mistakes and flaws but, if we bring these illegals out of the shadow we make difficult for the terrorists to lurk around and we make it easier for our government to find them – Leaving the whole thing the way it is now makes us vulnerable – while we're thinking about our own private pride they take advantage of us – We ought to be smarter than this – I refuse to believe how stupid we are in delaying this immigration solution even further...

    July 1, 2007 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  13. Ty, Damon, TN

    Give me a break, Harry, the only approval ratins lower than G Bush are the ones for congress, in particular yours!!!!

    July 1, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  14. Richard, Raleigh NC

    It seems the Republican strategy is to sabotage everything from now until November 08, and then blame the Democrats for not having the votes to stop them.

    They have no shame.

    July 1, 2007 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. Ed in Bastrop, Texas

    Open letter to Harry Reid:
    Dear Harry,
    When, oh when, are you and the rest of the majority of Congress going to get back to helping the problems that continue to plague American citizens instead of laying awake at night, making lists of what you can do the next day to further condemn the Bush administration.
    Health care, the economy, the war in Iraq, the coming presidential election, I can think of all sorts of things you guys could be doing instead of the further bashing George Bush. He will be gone in not that far into the future. The chance of a Democrat being inducted into the White House is assured. So, please, please get back to doing good and forget all this hate and vengeance.
    the Democratic party lost the white house for the same reasons that the Repuboican party is losing it now. Lack of confidence from the American people.
    George Bush's ratings in the polls is very low. But, so is the congress's ratings.
    Just let Mr. Bush go on about his way. He is ineffective at this point and is losing more ground everyday. So, just get back to the business of running the country. Please.

    July 1, 2007 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  16. Ann Brunswick ME

    Irresponsible people always blame others for their own failures. Reid probably blames the Republicans for his constipation too. Anal person that he is.

    July 1, 2007 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  17. RightyTighty

    If it weren't for the Republicans, we would have given amnesty to 12+ million illegals last week. Whose really looking out for we the people?

    July 1, 2007 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  18. iwntitmyway

    WHA! WHAA!!

    July 2, 2007 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  19. Mary, Beaver, PA

    Obvioiusly this man is out of touch with reality. Hello, Harry? The American people let their voice be heard. It was the people, and not the Republicans, who defeated this miserable piece of legislation. You Democrats better get with it, or we'll toss you on the trash heap just like the Republicans got it during the last election. It's time for third parties to be counted in this system, because we aren't getting government FOR THE PEOPLE from either side of the aisle.

    July 2, 2007 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  20. Anonymous

    This is a riot. When Reid and his cohorts were impeding senatoral proceedings by fillibustering every god damn thing that came to the floor, they were hailed as heros..Now republicans do something similar and theyre impeding the political process?

    Hmmm, I guess hipocrisy is bipartisan..

    July 2, 2007 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  21. Joe Shepard, Spring Lake North Carolina

    Has anyone questioned why the liberal members of the Senate so strongly supported the bill on illegal aliens? Could it be that they received large campaign contributions from companies that employ large numbers of illegals? Or could it be that the Senators themselves own companies, or are heavily invested in companies which employ illegal aliens? Be interesting to look into this possibiliy.

    July 2, 2007 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  22. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    Dear Mr Reid,

    The Republican Congress listened to the people, the Democrats and the President didn't.

    And no one fans partisan politics like you. Your remarks seem over-the-top hypocritical.

    July 4, 2007 08:51 am at 8:51 am |