Reid Blames GOP for Legislative Backlog

Posted November 4, 2009 at 9:53am

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday outlined a packed legislative agenda for the rest of the year and blamed Republicans for slowing down the process.“For anybody watching what’s taken place the last three years knows the Republicans have become experts in wasting time,— Reid asserted.He pointed to the unemployment insurance benefits bill, which has been held up for more than a month, saying: “Republicans used every trick in the book to slow and stall and ensure we can’t do important work.— The unemployment bill, which also contains a homebuyer’s tax credit and tax relief language for businesses, has been locked for weeks amid partisan bickering over time agreements and amendments. Reid filed procedural motions on the bill last week to break the stalemate. The bill is expected to pass this week and sent over to the House for consideration, where it will likely be approved. In the days before the Senate adjourns for a Veterans Day recess on Nov. 11, Reid suggested the chamber could take up the nominations of Tara O’Toole, tapped for an undersecretary position at the Department of Homeland Security, and David Hamilton, nominated for a seat on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Both nominations have been lingering for some time.Reid said he also hopes to clear the Commerce, Justice and science appropriations bill, which has also been tripped up over amendments, namely a measure sponsored by GOP Sens. Bob Bennett (Utah) and David Vitter (La.) that would require the census to include a question on immigration status. Also awaiting consideration is the military construction and Veterans Affairs spending bill, which passed the House in July.