Reid announced the first 10 measures of the new Congress, a list that includes an immigration overhaul and measures to address school safety.
In an effort to lay down a marker for the first phase of their agenda, Senate Democrats have announced the first 10 measures of the new Congress, including anti-school violence proposals and immigration reform legislation.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor that the bills are informed by Democrats’ desire for “a strong middle class” and “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.”
“Those principles will direct our course as we introduce our first 10 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,” the Nevada Democrat said.
Some bills, such as one passed by the Senate last year to renew agriculture programs, are more complete than others; the details of an immigration reform measure, for example, are still being put together. Essentially, Senate Democrats are reserving the first 10 bill numbers for their top priorities, although the legislative language may not be finalized for some time.
With regard to gun regulations, Reid mentioned legislation that strikes the right balance between “the right to bear arms with the right of every child to grow up safe from gun violence.”
He also noted a Democratic plan to push to end “wasteful tax loopholes and balance thoughtful spending reductions with revenue from the wealthiest among us,” as well as a measure to “ensure this country’s uniformed service members never struggle to find employment when their military duties end.”
Reid also stressed that he hopes to compromise with Republicans to pass legislation this Congress.
“But not a single piece of important legislation can pass the Senate or become law without the votes of both Democrats and Republicans,” Reid said. “So we will also be willing to compromise and to work with our colleagues across the aisle.”
The full list is below:
Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Sandy Hook Elementary School Violence Reduction Act
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.