Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) vowed his party’s principles would be their “North Star” as the upper chamber begins introducing legislation today.
“I am hopeful — cautiously optimistic — that the 113th Congress will be characterized not by our divisions, but by our renewed commitment to cooperation and compromise,” Reid said on the floor this morning. “I urge every woman and every man fortunate enough to serve in this chamber to remember: It is possible to hold fast to your principles while making the compromises necessary to move our country forward.”
“Democrats will hold fast to the guiding principle that a strong middle class — and an opportunity for every American to enter that middle class — is the key to this nation’s success. Democrats will stand strong — strong for the standard of balance. And we will remain resolute — resolute in the pursuit of fairness for all Americans, regardless of where they were born or the color of their skin, regardless of the size of their bank accounts, regardless of their religion or their sexual orientation,” he continued.
“Those principles will direct our course as we introduce our first ten bills today — a tradition in the United States Senate — and as we mend our broken immigration system, strengthen our schools and rebuild our roads and bridges. Those principles will be foremost in our minds as we balance the right to bear arms with the right of every child to grow up safe from gun violence. Those principles will be our North Star as we work to end wasteful tax loopholes and balance thoughtful spending reductions with revenue from the wealthiest among us. And those principles will point the way as we work to ensure this country’s uniformed service members never struggle to find employment when their military duties end. Through every struggle and every triumph, those principles must be our guide.”
Reid said he’s willing to reach across the aisle, even as his party’s first bills focus on quashing Republicans’ filibuster power.
“This year the Senate will also revisit some of the legislative priorities of the 112th Congress,” Reid said. “We will take up the Violence Against Women Act, the farm bill, historic reforms to save the United States Postal Service and legislation to make whole the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Each of these initiatives passed the Senate on a bipartisan basis after deliberation and debate during the 112th Congress, but was left to languish by the House of Representatives.”
“Once we complete that vital legislation, the Senate will take action to make this institution that we all love work more effectively. We will consider changes to the United States Senate rules.”