WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) declared today that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has “changed nothing,” and predicted “he’s going to wind up just like Boehner.”
Angry about House Republicans’ determination to pass a Zika emergency funding bill with riders unrelated to the mosquito-borne virus, Reid said the lower chamber won’t pass a standalone bill “because Paul Ryan’s experiment in being a better speaker than Boehner is failing dramatically.”
“He came there going to change that body. He isn’t changing it,” he said outside of a Senate Dems’ caucus meeting. “…But right now, they’re following the Hastert Rule. The Hastert Rule is pretty simple — they will pass nothing unless it’s done with the majority of the majority. Well, it’s getting harder and harder for them to follow the Hastert Rule.”
“Of course, I have to mention he’s in prison,” Reid added of the disgraced former speaker from Illinois now serving time for child molestation. “It’s harder and harder for them to follow the Hastert Rule because they have to keep getting more and more to the right.”
“Look at what they’ve done on Zika. Can you imagine, they sent us something that said ‘we want to be able to fly a Confederate flag on military cemeteries.’ Their obsession with Planned Parenthood, they had to stick that in there… they whacked the Clean Water Act. They took money from Ebola. They took money from Obamacare. And everybody knows that would fall on a point of order,” Reid continued. “We took $500 million from veterans who were to process claims. That’s all he could get out of that crazy Republican conference they have in the House.”
The leading Senate Dem noted his party has “given a lot of speeches” as “we are not in the majority.”
“We are going to be in it in six months. We’re not now, and we can’t bring things to the floor,” Reid added.
Hillary Clinton will visit the Senate Dem caucus on Thursday. Her former rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), endorsed her in New Hampshire today.
“We’re going to hear from Hillary Clinton, the obligations that we have as senators, carry forward on a program that is not dominated by Trump,” Reid said in a preview of their meeting. “You know, there was an interesting article I read yesterday. If you were setting up someone to run for office, everything that Trump has done would be the thing you shouldn’t do. So I think that we’re going to be enthusiastic in our support for Hillary Clinton, as we should be.”