Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid launched a new assault on the Koch brothers, blaming them for House Republicans’ not passing an extension of unemployment benefits, a minimum wage hike or other parts of the Democratic agenda.
“Their billionaire sugar-daddies aren’t interested in helping middle class Americans get a fair shot. Charles and David Koch aren’t concerned with the long-term unemployed families, and so the Republicans that they sponsor in the House of Representatives are content to do nothing for the long-term unemployed,” Reid said, renewing his barrage against the wealthy businessmen and donors to a variety of conservative causes.
The Nevada Democrat spoke on Monday to open the Senate for a monthlong work period.
“Some of the most popular performances in Nevada are magicians and illusionists who entertain their audiences by making the impossible seem real,” Reid said, setting up his line of the day. “It seems that the Republican Party has decided to follow in Houdini and Copperfield’s footsteps and play a bit of misdirection of its own.”
Reid was highlighting recent reports that he would be made a campaign issue in Senate races across the country, a role he seems to relish.
“I’m not running for anything for a few more years,” Reid said. “As I’ve said before, being a target of a couple rich billionaires is not going to intimidate me.”
Reid espoused the view that Republican interests were turning their campaign fire on him because the effort to campaign against the health care law has “proven to be a miserable failure.”
As for more immediate business, Reid formally teed up a procedural vote for Wednesday on taking up legislation to increasing the federal minimum wage. That measure is not expected to gain the 60 votes needed to overcome the initial filibuster hurdle.
“As the Senate turns its attention to increasing the federal minimum wage, which we moved to earlier today, is there any question as to whether Republicans will once again do the Koch brothers bidding? Of course not,” Reid said. “They’re not ready to give millions of Americans a fair shot at earning a decent wage.”
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.