Sept. 21, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Reid Comes Out Fighting

“It’s easy to be a gracious winner. It’s hard to be a gracious loser. But Mitch is trying to do that,” Reid said.

Though he gave high marks to McConnell for offering to cooperate on legislation, Reid was not as generous when it came to Republican threats to block the Senate from seating Minnesota Democrat Al Franken, who was certified the winner of his race against Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) by the state canvassing board this week. Franken’s legal certification requires the signature of Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), which he has yet to secure pending the outcome of Coleman’s legal challenge of the election results.

Reid said he would not seek to seat Franken in the near future, but that eventually his patience for the legal wrangling over the seat would run out.

“As I told Republicans on the floor today, we’re going to be very patient, but there’s going to come a time when we do something about it,” Reid said. “If they’re just stalling so we don’t have our 59th vote, I think the people in Minnesota are going to see through that pretty quickly.”

Reid added that he would not hesitate — if the circumstances call for it — to send both the Franken matter and the questionable appointment of Democrat Roland Burris to Obama’s vacant seat to the Senate Rules and Administration Committee. Reid is scheduled to meet with Burris today, but he declined to reveal what he planned to tell the former state attorney general. Reid has not ruled out seating Burris eventually but said no such action would be taken this week.

“Understand that I don’t need anyone’s permission to refer Franken and Burris to the Rules Committee,” Reid stated. “I can do that. I can just walk out and file a resolution, and it goes there automatically. But we’re going to be fair and deliberate in what we’re doing.”

Electorally, Reid has become the top target of Republicans in the 2010 cycle, and he practically dared the GOP on Tuesday to come after him. If Republicans are so convinced they can beat him, Reid said, “they should devote a lot of resources to Nevada. That will allow us to have a lot of other resources that they won’t have to — that we can use other places.”

Republicans in Washington, D.C., and Nevada have made no secret of their intention to go after the Majority Leader over the next two years.

“I have won races and I have lost races,” Reid said. “Anyone can be beaten at any time. I can be beaten; I understand that. But it’s nothing I’m going to go to bed quivering about every night.”

He added, “I’ve had a pretty good career, and I’m going to continue doing the best I can for Nevada and the country.”

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