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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Harry Reid

Assumed office 
January 3, 1987
Serving with John Ensign
Preceded by Paul Laxalt

Assumed office 
January 4, 2007
Deputy Richard Durbin
Preceded by Bill Frist (R)

In office
January 3, 2005 – January 3, 2007
Deputy Richard Durbin (D)
Preceded by Tom Daschle (D)
Succeeded by Mitch McConnell (R)

In office
January 3, 2001 – January 20, 2001
June 6, 2001 – January 3, 2003
Leader Tom Daschle (D)
Preceded by Don Nickles (R)
Succeeded by Don Nickles (2001)
Mitch McConnell (2003)

In office
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1987
Preceded by James David Santini (At-large)
Succeeded by James Bilbray

In office
Governor Mike O'Callaghan
Preceded by Edward Fike
Succeeded by Robert Rose

Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission
In office
Appointed by Mike O'Callaghan

Chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee
In office
June 6, 2001 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Pat Roberts
Succeeded by George Voinovich

In office
January 3, 2001 – January 20, 2001
Preceded by Robert C. Smith
Succeeded by Robert C. Smith

Member of the
Nevada State Assembly
In office

In office

Born December 2, 1939 (1939-12-02) (age 70)
Searchlight, Nevada
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Landra Gould
Children 1 daughter
4 sons
Residence Searchlight, Nevada
Alma mater Southern Utah University (A.A.)
Utah State University (B.A.)
George Washington University (J.D.)
Profession Lawyer
Religion The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Website Official site

Harry Mason Reid (born December 2, 1939) is the senior United States Senator from Nevada and a member of the Democratic Party. First elected to the Senate in 1986, he was re-elected in 1992, 1998, and 2004, and is currently seeking a fifth term in 2010.

Reid has been the Senate Majority Leader since January 2007, having previously served as Minority Leader from 2005 until the Democrats won control of the Senate in the 2006 midterm elections. He earlier served as Senate Minority Whip (1999–2001, 2001, 2003–2005) and Senate Majority Whip (2001, 2001–2003).

Before his election to the Senate, Reid was a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Nevada's 1st congressional district from 1983 to 1987. A native of Searchlight and graduate of Utah State University and George Washington University Law School, he previously served as city attorney of Henderson (1964–1966), a member of the Nevada Assembly (1969–1970), Lieutenant Governor of Nevada (1970–1974), and chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission (1977–1981).


Early life

Reid was born in Searchlight, Nevada, the son of Inez and Harry Reid,[1] a miner in the camp 50 miles southeast of Las Vegas. He attended Basic High School in Henderson, Nevada, where he boarded in town and played football and was an amateur boxer.[2] While at Basic he met future Nevada governor Mike O'Callaghan, who was a teacher there. Reid attended Southern Utah University and Utah State University.

Reid graduated from George Washington University Law School with a J.D. while working for the United States Capitol Police. He returned to Nevada after law school and served as Henderson city attorney before being elected to the Nevada Assembly in 1968. In 1970, at age 30, Reid was chosen by O'Callaghan as his running mate for Lieutenant Governor of Nevada.

Political career: since 1966

Nevada politics: 1966–1981

Reid and his mentor O'Callaghan won the race and Reid served as lieutenant governor until 1974, when he ran for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Alan Bible. He lost by fewer than 600 votes to former Governor Paul Laxalt. In 1975, Reid ran for mayor of Las Vegas and lost again, this time to Bill Briare.[3]

Reid then served as chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission from 1977 to 1981, a post that subjected him to death threats. Jack Gordon also tried to bribe Reid. Reid allowed the FBI to tape Gordon's attempt to bribe him with $12,000. Reid lost his temper and attempted to choke Gordon, "You son of a bitch, you tried to bribe me!", and was pulled off by FBI agents. Gordon was convicted in United States district court in 1979 and sentence to six months in prison.[4] In 1981, Reid's wife once found a bomb attached to one of their cars, a bomb Reid suspects was placed by Gordon.[4]

U.S. Representative: 1983–1987

Prior to the 1980 Census, Nevada had only a single at-large member in the United States House of Representatives, but population growth in the 1970s resulted in the state picking up a second district. Reid won the Democratic nomination for the 1st district, based in Las Vegas, in 1982, and easily won the general election. He served two terms in the House, from 1983 to 1987.

U.S. Senator: since 1987

In 1986, Reid won the Democratic nomination for the seat of retiring two-term incumbent Paul Laxalt. He defeated former at-large Congressman Jim Santini, a Democrat who had turned Republican, in the November election. He coasted to reelection in 1992. However, he barely defeated 1st District Congressman John Ensign in 1998 in the midst of a statewide Republican sweep.

In 2004, Reid won reelection with 61 percent of the vote, gaining the endorsement of several Republicans.

Ensign was elected to Nevada's other Senate seat in 2000. He and Reid have a very good relationship, despite their bruising contest in 1998. The two frequently work together on Nevada issues.[5]


From 1999 to 2005, Reid served as Senate Democratic Whip, as minority whip from 1999 to 2001 and again from 2003 to 2005, then as majority whip from 2001 to 2003 (except for a brief period from January–May 2001). From 2001 to 2003, he served as chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee.

Reid succeeded Tom Daschle as minority leader in 2005 and became majority leader after the 2006 elections. He was re-elected majority leader without opposition by the Democratic caucus on November 18, 2008, winning all 57 votes.[6]

Committee memberships

Reelection bid in 2010

While Reid is the front runner for the Democratic nomination, he faces a competitive general election against either of the front-running Republican candidates, Sue Lowden and Danny Tarkanian, for the 2010 Senate race in Nevada. Reid has engaged in a $1 million media campaign to "reintroduce himself" to Nevada's voters. As of March 2010, he trailed his potential Republican opponents by over ten percentage points in aggregate RealClearPolitics polling.[7][8][9]

Political positions

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Reid after signing the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009 on March 30, 2009.
Reid speaking at the State Children's Health Insurance Program Art Exhibit press conference.

A method that some political scientists use for gauging ideology is to compare the annual ratings by the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) with the ratings by the American Conservative Union (ACU).[10] Reid has scored a lifetime conservative rating of 19% from the ACU,[11] and a 2008 liberal rating of 70% from the ADA.[12] Other independent ratings include a 27% rating from NARAL in 2003,[13] and a 57% rating from Planned Parenthood in 2006.[14]

Reid has spearheaded several initiatives while in Congress. In 2006 Reid co-sponsored the "Prevention First Amendment" with Hillary Clinton, which would fund abortion prevention efforts, such as giving women broader access to contraception; however the bill faced Republican opposition and failed.[15] In January 2007, Reid brought a Senate ethics reform bill to a vote to bar congressional members from accepting gifts, meals, and trips from lobbyists and organizations employing them, as well as barring Senators from borrowing corporate jets for travel and compelling them to disclose the names of sponsors, or authors, of bills and specific projects. The bill passed 96 to 2.[16]

Regarding specific issues, Reid believes that Roe vs. Wade should be overturned and in 1999, he voted against an amendment that explicitly expressed support for Roe v. Wade.[17] He has stated that he believes in a restricted right to abortion, stating that "abortions should be legal only when the pregnancy resulted from incest, rape, or when the life of the woman is endangered."[18] He has also voted several times to ban the "intact dilation and evacuation" or "partial-birth abortion" procedure.[19] Reid has voted against the Nelson-Hatch-Casey amendment in the Senate which proposed to ban federal funding of health care plans that cover abortion.[20] Regarding same-sex marriage, Reid has stated he believes "...marriage should be between a man and a woman". He voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act but against the Federal Marriage Amendment.[21] He is historically in favor of the death penalty,[22] stem cell research[23] and gun control.[24] He also supports legislation for $15 billion in tax breaks for large oil companies, aiming to put the money toward renewable energy sources.[citation needed] In regard to local issues, Reid has firmly opposed the proposed Yucca Mountain federal nuclear waste repository in Nevada.[25]

Reid called immigration reform one of his top priorities for the 110th Congress and supports the DREAM Act which would make it easier for young people who are not citizens of the United States but are permanent residents to attend college or university in the United States.[26][27] He also opposed a Constitutional amendment to make English the national language of the United States.[28] In June 2009, Reid announced his intention to enact a new guest worker program as part of a comprehensive immigration reform bill.[29]

Reid has supported the use of force in the Middle East but has called for a drastic change in strategy.[citation needed] In January 1991 he voted to authorize military force in Iraq to liberate Kuwait,[30] quoting John F. Kennedy's 1963 State of the Union speech on the Senate floor, saying "the mere absence of war is not Peace."[31][32] He also voted in support of the 2003 invasion of Iraq,[33][34] and in March 2007 he voted in favor of "redeploying US troops out of Iraq by March 2008".[34] Later that year, however, he said, "As long as we follow [President Bush's] path in Iraq, the war is lost."[35]


Over the years Reid has been the subject of several criticisms from both sides of the political aisle. Liberal critics argue that Reid is not doing enough to end the American military presence in Iraq,[36] and that he allowed Senate Republicans to create a 60-vote bar for passage of bills without actually a Democratic fillibuster.[37][38][39]

Reid has also been criticized for several potentially self-enriching tactics. In 2005 Reid earmarked a spending bill to provide for building a bridge between Nevada and Arizona that would make land he owned more valuable. Reid called funding for construction of a bridge over the Colorado River, among other projects, 'incredibly good news for Nevada' in a news release after passage of the 2005 transportation bill. He owned 160 acres (65 ha) of land several miles from the proposed bridge site in Arizona. The bridge could add value to his real estate investment.[40] A year later it was reported that Reid had used campaign donations to pay for $3,300 in Christmas gifts to the staff at the condominium where he resides[41]; federal election law prohibits candidates from using political donations for personal use. Reid's staff stated that his attorneys had approved use of the funds in this manner but that he nonetheless would personally reimburse his campaign for the expenses. That action notwithstanding, the conservative group Citizens United announced it had filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission to investigate the matter.[42]

A series of investigative reports in the Los Angeles Times[43][44][45][46] suggested that Reid had introduced legislation and imposed pressure on regulatory agencies to advance the business interests of his close friend Harvey Whittemore, a Nevada attorney-lobbyist who contributed heavily to Reid's campaigns and leadership fund and whose personal attorney was Reid's son Leif. With Reid's help, Whittemore was able to proceed with construction of a $30 billion planned golf course development, Coyote Springs, a project heavily criticized by environmental groups for reasons including its projected effects on several endangered species.[47][48]

In 2006, Reid was also brought under question as to his possible involvement in the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal, in that he purportedly "received more than $50,000 from four tribes with gaming interests between 2001 and 2004 after they hired Abramoff,"[49] which would have introduced a conflict of interest. However, the Senate Ethics Committee never accused Reid of violating Senate ethics rules.[50]

While Reid identifies as pro-life, he has drawn criticism from the movement for his opposition to including Stupak amendment-like restrictions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Reid apologized on January 9, 2010, for racially charged comments he had made when President Obama was campaigning for president. In private conversations, Reid had remarked that Obama could win the Presidency because the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama -- who he referred to as being "light-skinned" and "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one". These comments had been recently revealed by journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann in Game Change, their book about the 2008 election. In addition to his public apology, Reid called President Obama to apologize; Obama accepted his apology, stating that as far as he was concerned, the book was closed on the incident.[51][52][53] RNC Chairman Michael Steele and Senators John Cornyn and Jon Kyl called on Reid to resign his leadership position in the Senate citing Majority Leader Trent Lott resigning because of a statement relating to race. However, this has virtually no chance of happening according to multiple experts. DNC Chairman Tim Kaine and Senators Dianne Feinstein and Jack Reed expressed support for Reid and confidence he would retain his leadership position, and another senior Democrat indicated Reid has "produced supportive statements from key African American leaders in the Congress and civil rights community".[54]

Cultural and political image

Reid speaks during the third night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

Part of Harry Reid's confrontation with Frank Rosenthal while chair of the Nevada Gaming Commission is reenacted in the 1995 movie Casino.[55][56] Reid had a role in the movie Traffic (2000), in which he played himself.[57] He appeared along with Senators Sam Brownback and Barack Obama in the 2007 documentary film Sand and Sorrow, which details the genocide in Sudan.[58]

Reid was elected to the Gaming Hall of Fame in 2001.[59]

National opinion polls have shown Senate Majority Leader Reid's job approval to be low or unfavorable.[60][61] An October 2007 Las Vegas Review-Journal favorability poll indicated 51 percent of Nevadans view Reid unfavorably, with 32 percent indicating favorability.[62] A December 2007 Las Vegas Review-Journal job approval poll showed 42 percent of Nevadans rating Reid "poor," 41 percent "excellent or good," and 16 percent "only fair."[63] A November 2009 Rasmussen poll, showed that 25% of polled voters have a favorable opinion of Reid, while 47% view him unfavorably.[64]

Family and personal life

In 1959, Reid married his high school sweetheart, Landra Gould. They have five children, a daughter and four sons. Their eldest son, Rory Reid, is an elected Commissioner for Clark County, Nevada, and another son recently ran for municipal office in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.[65]

On March 11, 2010, Landra Reid and their daughter were rear-ended by a tractor-trailer. Mrs. Reid suffered a broken nose, broken neck, and broken back, and her daughter suffered a neck injury and facial lacerations. The driver of the tractor-trailer, who was not injured, was charged with reckless driving.[66]

Reid is a first generation member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[67] Reid and his wife, who was born to Jewish immigrant parents and grew up in Henderson, converted to Mormonism while Reid was a college student.[4] He stated in an interview with Brigham Young University's Daily Universe that "I think it is much easier to be a good member of the Church and a Democrat than a good member of the Church and a Republican." He went on to say that the Democrats' emphasis on helping others, as opposed to what he considers Republican dogma to the contrary, is the reason he's a Democrat.[68] He delivered a speech at BYU to about 20,000 students on October 9, 2007, in which he expressed his opinion that Democratic values mirror Mormon values.[69]


  1. ^ Seelye, Katharine Q. (2001-05-28). "PUBLIC LIVES; From a Miner's Shack to the Senate, Guided by a Light". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-11. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Dustbusters, sex appeal and Sen. Frankie Sue". Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  4. ^ a b c Walsh, Elsa (August 8, 2005). "Minority Retort: How a pro-gun, anti-abortion Nevadan leads the Senate's Democrats". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2008-03-17. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "U.S. Senate Majority Leader". OurCampaigns. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Mayer, William (2004-03-28). "Kerry's Record Rings a Bell". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-06-07. 
  11. ^ "2007 U.S. Senate Votes". American Conservative Union. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  12. ^ "ADA's 2008 Congressional Voting Record" (PDF). Americans for Democratic Action. Retrieved 2009-02-07. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Senator Harry M. Reid". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  15. ^ "Reid, Clinton Detail Prevention First Amendment". Democratic Party. 2005-03-17. Retrieved 2008-04-03. 
  16. ^ Kirkpatrick, David D. (2007-01-19). "Senate Passes Vast Ethics Overhaul". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  17. ^ "Meet the Press: Transcript for December 5". MSNBC. 2004-12-05. Retrieved 2008-03-17. 
  18. ^ "Senator Harry M. Reid Issue Positions". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2008-03-17. 
  19. ^ Curry, Tom (2007-04-19). "Supreme Court ruling raises '08 stakes". MSNBC. Retrieved 2008-03-17. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Harry Reid on Abortion". On the Issues. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  22. ^ "Harry Reid on Crime". On the Issues. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  23. ^ Reid, Harry M.. "George Bush Vetos Stem Cell Research". Give 'em Hell Harry. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  24. ^ "Harry Reid on Gun Control". On the Issues. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  25. ^
  26. ^ Deutsch, Robert (2006-12-30). "Advocates hope new Congress will act on immigration reform". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-02-14. 
  27. ^ "Immigration". Reid Senate site. Retrieved 2009-02-14. 
  28. ^ "Harry Reid". On the Issues. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  29. ^ "Senate Democratic Leader Wants New Guest Worker Program Despite Recession and High Unemployment Rate". Cybercast News Service. Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  30. ^ "Slim Senate Majority Is Expected But House Backing Appears Solid". The New York Times. January 12, 1991.
  31. ^ John F. Kennedy (January 14, 1963). "State of the Union Address". Infoplease. 
  32. ^ Dewar, Helen; Kenworthy, Tom (January 12, 1991). "U.N. Chief, Europeans Discuss Peace Plan;Bush Gains Support in Senate". The Washington Post.  The quote in question can be seen via a Google News archive search.
  33. ^ - Bush gains more support for Iraq war resolution
  34. ^ a b
  35. ^ Government Access Website
  36. ^ The Boston Globe "Congress Returns Ready for Confrontation"
  37. ^ Democratic retreat on Iraq? - First Read -
  38. ^ CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time Blog Archive - House approves terror surveillance bill « - Blogs from
  39. ^ Your Harry Reid-led Senate in action - Glenn Greenwald -
  40. ^ Will the Pork stop here? Los Angeles Times Newspaper
  41. ^ USA Today
  42. ^ Hill News
  43. ^ Neubauer, Chuck (August 29, 2006). "Advocates Sue Over Nevada Land Exchange; Groups charge in federal court that the Bureau of Land Management violated the law in its swap with Coyote Springs developer Harvey Whittemore.". The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California). 
  44. ^ Neubauer, Chuck; Richard T. Cooper (August 20, 2006). "Desert Connections". The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California). 
  45. ^ Neubauer, Chuck; Richard T. Cooper (June 23, 2003). "In Nevada, the Name to Know is Reid; Members of one lawmaker's family represent nearly every major industry in their home state. And their clients rely on his goodwill. Series: Second of two parts.". The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California). 
  46. ^ Neubauer, Chuck (June 25, 2004). "Senator's Bill Would Help Friend's Development Plan; Harry Reid of Nevada seeks to lift an easement. Two sons work at the landowner's law firm.". The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California). 
  47. ^ "Harry's deal". The Pittsburgh Tribune. September 25, 2007. 
  48. ^ Waldman, Peter (February 2008). "When Harry Met Vegas". Portfolio (Condé Nast Digital/Bizjournals). 
  49. ^ - News - Tribes gave to Reid after hiring Abramoff
  50. ^ Politicians caught in the rush to return donation
  51. ^ Cillizza, Chris, "Majority Leader Reid apologizes to Obama for 2008 remarks", The Washington Post, January 9, 2010
  52. ^ Jackson, David, "Harry Reid taking heat for Obama remarks", USA Today, January 10, 2010
  53. ^ Schwandt, Kimberly, "Reid apologizes for “no Negro dialect” comment about Barack Obama from 2008 election", Fox News, January 9, 2010
  54. ^
  55. ^ Stutz, Howard (2007-07-02). Las Vegas Review-Journal. 
  56. ^ Suellentrop, Chris (2004-12-22). "Harry Reid Is Not Boring". Slate. Retrieved 2008-04-16. 
  57. ^ Traffic (2000) - Full cast and crew
  58. ^ Sand and Sorrow (2007)
  59. ^ "The Gaming Hall of Fame". University of Nevada Las Vegas. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  60. ^ Pollingreport - Political Figures: R
  61. ^ Rasmussen Reports
  62. ^ - News - Poll: Reid's popularity falls among Nevadans
  63. ^ Reid's ratings mixed in poll
  64. ^
  65. ^ "About Harry Reid". U.S. Senate. Retrieved 2008-03-17. 
  66. ^ Strickland, Ken (March 11, 2010), "Crash leaves Reid's wife with broken neck, back",, Retrieved March 11, 2010
  67. ^ Tumulty, Karen (January 12, 2007). "The Democrats' Inside Man". TIME.,9171,1576850-2,00.html. Retrieved 2007-04-24. 
  68. ^ Snow, Tyson (February 24, 2001). "Sen. Reid explains Mormonism and liberal agenda". BYU Newsnet (Brigham Young University). Retrieved 2008-03-17. 
  69. ^ McFarland, Sheena (October 9, 2007). "Reid tells BYU crowd that socially responsible Dems mirror Mormon values". The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. 

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Edward Fike
Lieutenant Governor of Nevada
Served under: Mike O'Callaghan

January 1971–January 1975
Succeeded by
Robert Rose
Preceded by
Wendell H. Ford
United States Senate Minority Whip
January 3, 1999–January 3, 2001
Succeeded by
Don Nickles
Preceded by
Don Nickles
United States Senate Majority Whip
January 3, 2001–January 20, 2001
Succeeded by
Don Nickles
Preceded by
Robert C. Smith
R-New Hampshire
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
January 3, 2001–January 20, 2001
Succeeded by
Robert C. Smith
R-New Hampshire
Preceded by
Don Nickles
United States Senate Minority Whip
January 20, 2001–June 6, 2001
Succeeded by
Don Nickles
Preceded by
Don Nickles
United States Senate Majority Whip
June 6, 2001–January 3, 2003
Succeeded by
Mitch McConnell
Preceded by
Pat Roberts
Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics
June 6, 2001–January 3, 2003
Succeeded by
George Voinovich
Preceded by
Don Nickles
United States Senate Minority Whip
January 3, 2003–January 3, 2005
Succeeded by
Dick Durbin
Preceded by
Tom Daschle
D-South Dakota
United States Senate Minority Leader
January 3, 2005–January 3, 2007
Succeeded by
Mitch McConnell
Preceded by
Bill Frist
United States Senate Majority Leader
January 3, 2007–present
Succeeded by
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
James David Santini (D)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nevada's 1st congressional district

January 3, 1983 - January 3, 1987
Succeeded by
James Bilbray (D)
United States Senate
Preceded by
Paul Laxalt (R)
United States Senator (Class 3) from Nevada
January 3, 1987-
Served alongside: Chic Hecht, Richard Bryan, John Ensign
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by
Alan Bible
Democratic Party nominee for United States Senator from Nevada
(Class 3)

Succeeded by
Mary Gojack
Preceded by
Mary Gojack
Democratic Party nominee for United States Senator from Nevada
(Class 3)

1986, 1992, 1998, 2004
Succeeded by
To be determined
Preceded by
Wendell H. Ford
Senate Democratic Whip
January 3, 1999 - January 3, 2005
Succeeded by
Dick Durbin
Preceded by
Tom Daschle
South Dakota
Senate Democratic Leader
January 3, 2005 - present
Succeeded by
United States order of precedence
Preceded by
John McCain
United States Senators by seniority
Succeeded by
Kit Bond


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Harry Reid (born December 2, 1939) is the senior United States Senator from Nevada and a member of the Democratic Party, for which he serves as Senate Majority Leader.



  • President Bush is a liar. He betrayed Nevada and he betrayed the country... All Americans should be concerned, not just because he lied to me or the people of Nevada and indeed all Americans, but because the President's decision threatens Americans' lives.
    • remarks made in February 2002, over the decision to deposit radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Las Vegas Sun, quoted March 5, 2002
  • RS: You’ve called Bush a loser.
    Reid: And a liar.
    RS: You’ve apologized for the loser comment.
    Reid: But never for the liar, have I?
  • [F]or more than three years this Congress, which has been given the name “The Do-Nothing Congress,” has turned a blind eye to the intractable war in Iraq, ignoring the Administration’s many mistakes, allowing it to stay a failed course. Here we are with six days left in the 109th Congress, and the Republicans, which control the House and the Senate and the White House, have not held one hearing, not one, into the President’s wartime failures.
  • Alberto Gonzales was never the right man for this job. He lacked independence, he lacked judgment, and he lacked the spine to say no to Karl Rove. This resignation is not the end of the story. Congress must get to the bottom of this mess and follow the facts where they lead, into the White House.
  • In the summertime, because it gets so hot here, you could literally smell the tourists coming.
  • Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all Republicans have come up with is this slow down, stop everything, let's start over. You think you've heard these same excuses before, you're right. When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said, slow down, it's too early. Let's wait. Things aren't bad enough. When women spoke up for the right to speak up, they wanted to vote, some insisted slow down, there will be a better day to do that. The day isn't quite right. When this body was on the verge of guaranteeing equal civil rights to everyone, regardless of the color of their skin, some senators resorted to the same filibuster threats that we hear today. More recently, when chairman Chris Dodd of Connecticut, one of the people who will go down as a chief champion of the bill before us today, said that Americans should be able to take care of their families without fear of losing their jobs, you heard the same old excuses, seven years of fighting and more than one presidential veto, it was slow down, stop everything, start over. History is repeating itself before our eyes. There are now those who don't think it is the right time to reform health care. If not now, when, madam president? But the reality for many that feel that way, it will never, never be a good time to reform health care.
  • Reid spoke of future President Barak Obama in 2008 describing him as a, "light-skinned' African American 'with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one." Reid apologized for these remarks in Jan 2010 when they were publicized.[1]



  • President Bush would leave the Supreme Court looking less like America and more like an old boys club.
    • on President Bush's nomination of conservative Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court (Associated Press, Oct. 31, 2005)
  • They have repeatedly chosen to protect the Republican administration rather than get to the bottom of what happened and why. I demand on behalf of the America people that we understand why these investigations aren't being conducted.
    • calling for a closed session of Congress to discuss the intelligence leading up to the war in Iraq (Associated Press, Nov. 1, 2005)
  • The Libby indictment provides a window into what this is really about: how the administration manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to sell the war in Iraq and attempted to destroy those who dared to challenge its actions.
    • Associated Press, Nov. 1, 2005
  • Obviously we know now their nuclear claims were wholly inaccurate. But more troubling is the fact that a lot of intelligence experts were telling the Administration then that its claims about Saddam's nuclear capabilities were false.
    • Associated Press, Nov. 1, 2005


  • I was born and raised in the high desert of Nevada in a tiny town called Searchlight. My dad was a hard rock miner. My mom took in wash. I grew up around people of strong values - even if they rarely talked about them.
  • I'm not a big Greenspan fan. I voted against him two times. I think he's one of the biggest political hacks we have in Washington.
  • Instead of talking about ways to save Social Security, Republicans are talking about a plan that will destroy it.
  • It's time that America's government lived by the same values as America's families. It's time we invested in America's future and made sure our people have the skills to compete and thrive in a 21st century economy. That's what Democrats believe.
  • Now that our troops are mired in a dangerous effort to defeat the insurgency and are also trying to help rebuild the country, Americans of all political persuasions simply want the United States to succeed and our troops to be as safe as possible.
  • So the next thing I assume I'll be hearing from Republicans, they want to change rules some way, as they do on the House when you get a problem with ethics, they just change the rules.
  • Social Security is not in crisis. It's a crisis the president's created, period.
  • The American people do not like privatization. They are afraid of the debt the president's willing to do. And they don't like benefit cuts. And everyone here should understand all 45 Senate Democrats are united. We are not going to let this happen.
  • The President is off to a bad start. He owes the American people honest answers on whether he wants to reform Social Security or privatize it.
  • There's a lot we can do to improve American's retirement security, but it's wrong to replace the guaranteed benefit that Americans have earned with a guaranteed benefit cut of forty percent or more.
  • This 21st century economy holds great promise for our people. But unless we give all Americans the skills they need to succeed, countries like India and China will take good-paying jobs that should be ours.
  • It's racist.
    • Quoted in US Senate floor while when debating making English language the "national language", while in the midst of the 2006 US immigration debate


  1. Majority Leader Reid apologizes to Obama for 2008 remarks - Washington Post January 9, 2010

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