Entries in Harry Reid (8)


Sen. Harry Reid Hospitalized After Car Accident

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(LAS VEGAS) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was hospitalized briefly Friday after his caravan was involved in a six-car crash in Nevada, but his condition is “good” and he does not have life threatening injuries.

“Senator Reid’s condition is good,” Karen Gordon of the University Medical Center in Las Vegas confirmed to ABC News.

“He experienced rib and hip contusions and has been cleared for release by the doctors,” Sen. Reid’s office said in a statement. Some of Senator Reid’s detail and a staffer had minor injuries in the accident and were evaluated at UMC.

The crash happened shortly after 4 p.m. Eastern Time while his caravan of four cars was driving on I-15 northbound hear Sahara. Reid is a member of the Congressional leadership so he gets a security detail.

Reid, according to aides, was just taken to the hospital “as a precaution” and walked in on his own. He was wearing his seat belt at the time of the accident, according to an aide. He has since been released from the hospital.

Earlier Friday Reid had delivered the keynote address at the dedication of the National Atomic Testing Museum. Reid’s wife was not with him during the accident, she was at an event with first lady Michelle Obama in Nevada.

The Reid family has been prone to accidents and health related incidents in the last few years.

In March of 2011 Reid’s wife and daughter were hospitalized after their own, and very serious, car crash in Northern Virginia. His wife was hospitalized with a broken back and neck after a truck slammed into the back of the minivan they were riding in.

In addition, Senator Reid in May 2011 slipped in the rain in Washington, DC and dislocated his shoulder and had a bump over his left eye.

Not an accident, but another health related incident, Mrs. Reid was also diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in September of 2011 but is so far making a full recovery.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Small Signs of Progress Show in Student Loan Impasse

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Is progress being made in the student loan impasse? Perhaps a little.
Late Thursday Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., counter-offered two proposals of his own to pay for the one-year extension of student loans rates to prevent them from doubling on July 1.
And in a sign of tiny steps of progress, the letter was initially well-received by Republican leadership.

Reid proposes a combination of two ideas to pay for the extension, changing and allowing more flexibility to employers pension insurance premiums, which would garner about $9.5 billion, and changing contributions to Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation premiums, which would raise about $8 billion.
“The combination of these two proposals will provide sufficient resources to fund both a one-year extension of the current student loan interest rate and reauthorization of the nation’s surface transportation programs,” Reid writes in a letter sent to House Republican leaders Thursday. “My preference would be to use the funds raised by these two proposals to pay for both measures, and pass them immediately -- since, as you know, both are critical to the economic security of middle class families, and both must be addressed before the end of June.”
Republican aides say they are still waiting for a response from the White House on their own proposals, sent last week, but received Reid’s proposals Thursday positively, indicating that they believe they “may be making progress.”
“We are encouraged to see the majority leader drop his insistence on taxing job creators,” Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, said Thursday. “We will review these new proposals and hope that they will finally review the bipartisan proposals we sent a week ago. But bottom line, now that Democrats are willing to take this issue seriously, and not just use students as props, we may be making progress.”
Both Republicans and Democrats believe the subsidized Stafford loan rates should not be doubled this July from the current 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent and agree the current rates should be extended for at least another year. But both sides thus far have not agreed on how to pay for the $6 billion bill.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Harry Reid's Wife Diagnosed With Breast Cancer

Bill Clark/Roll Call via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s wife of more than 50 years has been diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer.

Landra Reid, 71, was just recently diagnosed and is already receiving treatment, including chemotherapy, in Washington, D.C., Reid’s office confirmed Friday.

As Landra Reid works with doctors and specialists through her treatment, Sen. Reid will be by her side throughout the process, his office says, emphasizing that her diagnosis will not affect his work as Majority Leader.

"Senator and Mrs. Reid appreciate the thoughts and concerns expressed during this time. They ask that they be afforded the respect and privacy that any family would want,” Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson said in a statement.

The Reids met in high school and were married in 1959. They have five grown children together and 16 grandchildren.

In March of 2010, Mrs. Reid and her daughter were involved in a serious car accident, but they both fully recovered from their injuries.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Another FAA Partial Shutdown to Come? Senate in Stalemate

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The current funding for the Federal Aviation Administration expires this Friday, threatening to put 80,000 people out of work by Saturday, unless Congress sends a bill to President Obama.

But as of now, the bill does not have a way forward in the Senate with both sides pointing fingers at the other party, one Republican Senator standing in the way of anything moving forward, and the Senate majority leader all-but calling that Republican Senator a “dictator” for holding up the bill.

The House of Representatives passed a joint bill Tuesday to continue temporary funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and federal highway, transit and highway safety programs.  Now in the Senate, the bill is being objected to by one Republican: Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who is upset over the funding that states must invest in surface transportation as part of the Highway bill, which is tied to the FAA bill.

But to make matters more confusing and head-shaking, the Senate’s $6.9 billion package to fund FEMA is also being dragged into this debate because of the Senate floor procedure.  The Senate on Tuesday passed a cloture motion to proceed on the disaster aid bill, meaning procedurally the FEMA bill must be passed first.  This basically puts a hold on the FAA/highway bill until FEMA is fully passed.  But, some Republicans, including Coburn have concerns over the FEMA bill, too.

As of now, unless Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., were to set aside the FEMA bill and call up the FAA bill, which he likely will not do, the FAA bill is being held up, forced to be addressed second.  The FAA bill though has a deadline of Friday evening, when funds will run out.

Wednesday on the Senate floor, without naming names but clearly targeting Coburn, Reid likened his actions to a dictator in threatening to hold up the bill.

“We’re told this is going to be held up by the Republicans,” Reid bemoaned.  “The Senator says he doesn’t want to vote.  He just wants to hold the bill up.  He said if we put in what we got from the house and stuck his provision in that, I think he would be happy.  I guess anyone would, madam president.  It’s a pretty good way to legislate around here, be a dictator and say either take this or leave it that.”

Coburn is concerned about the programs designed to increase bike lanes and green space on the roads -- which is part of the transportation bill -- and wants the funds taken out.  The senator wants states to be able to opt out of the transportation enhancement mandate, and to have that change written into the bill.

Reid warned that if the FAA funding expires on Friday there will be about 80,000 people out of work by Saturday: 4,000 out of work for the FAA and about 70,000 who are working on airport construction jobs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Congress Pays Tribute to 9/11, Sings ‘God Bless America’

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With the same sense of unity that pulled Congress together after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, members of Congress from both the House and Senate gathered on steps of the Capitol Monday night to pay tribute to the victims and heroes of the 9/11 attacks.

Congress was not in session Sunday during the 10th anniversary of 9/11.  Instead, many members traveled to their home states to participate in local events marking the date, and to New York, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon to attend ceremonies.

“The 11th of September will always be a day of remembrance,” House Speaker John Boehner said.  “It is up to we who live on -- particularly we who serve -- to ‘never forget,’ to never yield, but to hold fast until we have preserved the blessings of freedom for those who come after us.  If we are successful, no one will have to tell them what to do.  They will know, and they too will ‘never forget.’”

Monday night was reserved for a moment of silence and the singing of “God Bless America” on the steps of the Capitol -- a sight recreated from the spontaneous rendition of the patriotic tune the night of Sept. 11, 2001.

“Here 10 years ago we reaffirmed in our own way that our commitment was for freedom and democracy -- that’s what makes America the greatest nation in the world,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said of that moment.  “Little did we know then the effect that [Maryland Senator] Barbara Mikulski suggesting to us, members of Congress here assembled, that we would sing ‘God Bless America.’  We did -- the sweetest song I ever heard.”

Reid said the only reason that Members of Congress could share that experience in 2001 was because of the courage of the heroes on board United Flight 93.

“The plane was headed here,” he said.  “We’ve learned since then the ringleader of that evil band had made a decision that it would be the Capitol, not the White House, because it was a much easier target.  That night we didn’t know that when we met here, but we know it now.”

“It was clear what needed to be done.  No one had to tell them.  They saved countless lives.  They steadied our country before a watching world,” Boehner said.

Holding small American flags, hundreds of lawmakers sang along Monday evening while the Marine Corps band played “God Bless America,” 10 years after Congress gathered on the steps of the Capitol to sing the song a cappella.

Each of Congress’s four top leaders also delivered brief remarks, touching on the themes of unity, patriotism, remembrance and progress that characterized the 10-year anniversary ceremonies last weekend.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Reid Proposes $6 Billion Stand-Alone Disaster Aid Bill

Scott Eisen/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Noting that the natural disasters have come “fast and furious” this summer, causing many Americans to suffer, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced Wednesday that he will propose a free-standing bill that would provide $6 billion in relief funds.

“I don’t see how we -- this great nation we have -- can stand on the sidelines while our people are suffering.  We should get relief to people when they need it,” Reid said, mentioning the damage in Joplin, Missouri, the effects of hurricanes Irene and Lee, and the recent earthquake in Virginia.

The money for the bill would come from the Homeland Security appropriations bill, Reid said.

“We need to get this relief funding to the American people as quickly as we can,” he said.  “And we’re going to do that.”

Reid took a swipe at some of his Republican colleagues, most notably House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, who early on said that any relief funds needed to be offset by cuts to other parts of the federal budget.

“Some of my Republican colleagues are trying to -- I was going to say something that was vulgar, and I’m not going to do that -- are trying to cater to the Tea Party by holding up relief efforts.  For example, Rep. Cantor suggested that we should hold up disaster relief to meet the Tea Party’s demands.  Fortunately, all Republicans don’t agree,” Reid said.

Cantor, who last month insisted that any new money for federal disaster relief be offset by spending cuts, issued a written statement on Wednesday regarding Reid’s stand-alone disaster assistance bill.  Cantor said he’s waiting for a specific request from President Obama and is awaiting details of Reid’s request.

“The House will act on a request for such disaster assistance as soon as it is made by President Obama,” Cantor said.  “Though details remain vague, it is being reported that Majority Leader Reid plans to move an unprecedented stand-alone measure that includes up to $7 billion in FEMA disaster funds for next year in the coming weeks.  I would ask Leader Reid to provide members of the House with the details of his request and a breakdown of what immediate funding is needed for each of the specific disaster areas listed above, so that the House can appropriately act on any legislation passed by the Senate.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Debt Talks: Obama Urges Americans to Get Involved, Calls Pour Into Capitol

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama directed Americans to get involved in the debt ceiling debate in his address to the nation Monday night.

Americans, it seems, have obliged.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid received over 600 calls between 8-10 a.m. Tuesday.  His office has six people now working the phones, and they continue to be “inundated.”

“If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your Member of Congress know.  If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message,” Obama said.

Phones have been “off the hook” since the office opened at 8 a.m. Tuesday, according to a Reid staffer.  Another Democratic Senator’s office says they received at least 110 calls Tuesday morning alone -- which is 3-4 times the normal call volume.

It's no different over in the House of Representatives, where an email went out to offices warning lawmakers to give alternate phone numbers to constituents.

“Due to the high volume of external calls, House telephone circuits serving 202-225-XXXX phone numbers are near capacity resulting in outside callers occasionally getting busy signals. Outbound calls are unaffected,” read the email from the House call center.

“During this time offices may wish to provide district office staff and key contacts with an alternate 202-226-XXXX extension, if available, until call volumes subside.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Harry Reid Returns West Point Ring to Lt. Dan Choi

Photo Courtesy - Reid dot Senate dot gov(WASHINGTON) -- At a gathering of liberal activists in Washington last summer, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made a bold promise to gay rights advocates that he would ensure the Senate repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" before the end of the year.

As a reminder of his promise, Reid received the West Point graduation ring of Army 1st Lt. Dan Choi, who had been recently discharged from the military for being gay and become the public face of the campaign for repeal.

"He earned his ring," Reid said. "I'm going to give it back to him."

Wednesday, three days after keeping his promise on the repeal, Reid returned the ring to Choi in his office on Capitol Hill.

"Five months after I promised to repeal #DADT, I'm so happy to give back this West Point ring to @ltdanchoi," Reid tweeted.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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