Senate Majority Leader Reid on the Economic Stimulus Bill

By January 4, 2009Economy

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was on Meet the Press this morning, interviewed by the new permanent host, David Gregory. Senator Reid described the economic stimulus legislation, inclusively.

SEN. REID: We have a country like we’ve never seen before, promise nationally and internationally. We also have to realize that it must be done on a bipartisan basis. Whatever we do must be done on a bipartisan basis. And we must recognize the economy is in deep trouble and we have to do something about jobs, infrastructure–that’s roads, highways, bridges, dams, water systems, sewer systems, classrooms, laboratories, libraries. And I think we should also understand there’s a manufacturing component we need, retooling. We have to do something with batteries, battery systems, maybe do something with lithium batteries. And of course, we also have to do something with housing. It is in the toilet, they say, and it is. Nevada leads the nation in foreclosures. We also have to do something to make our country more secure, and the way to do that is to have energy independence. That has to be part of the economic recovery program, energy independence, which includes a smart grid. We also have to have, as President-elect Obama has said time and time again, a middle class, a working men and women tax cut. And we need to do that. We have to give state–relief to states. Forty-four states are deeply in the red, the other six are barely not in the red, and we have to give them relief. In Nevada, for example, David, at our University Medical Center in Las Vegas, they stopped cancer treatment. People who are in Las Vegas–two weeks ago, women who had breast cancer treatment were said, “We have no place for you to go.” They had to leave the state to do that. We have–we need to take care of that. It’s a very, very important. So those are the things we need to do.

That’s a long paragraph, but it accurately reflects the comments.

Senator Reid declined to provide what he determined as a “false deadline” for passing legislation. He said the Senate would be working nights and weekends.

BTW, David Gregory did a very good job today in following up on questions. In White House Q&As, his hectoring and posturing got awfully tiresome, but he’s been a good host so far on MTP.

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