Reid Presses for Flurry of Action on Tax, Unemployment Legislation

Posted June 9, 2010 at 10:04am

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said during his morning floor remarks Wednesday that votes were likely to occur throughout the day, but he otherwise focused his comments on Tuesday’s Nevada primaries — and the debut of Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg.

Reid announced there would be no Senate votes on Friday or Monday in expressing the urgency of disposing the tax and unemployment insurance extenders bill that is currently under consideration.

“We can’t sit here, as we did yesterday, and really not do a lot,” Reid said.

Meanwhile, the Majority Leader said he congratulated newly minted Nevada GOP Senate nominee Sharron Angle, whom he credited for achieving a come-from-behind victory.

Considering Reid’s campaign wanted Angle to win the primary and spent millions tearing down second-place finisher Sue Lowden, the Nevada Democrat’s laudatory remarks about Angle were interesting.

“I congratulated my Republican opponent about the campaign she ran. She actually came from nowhere,” Reid said. “I extended my appreciation to her.”

Reid went on to compliment Strasburg on his Major League Baseball debut, which saw him strike out 14 batters in 7 innings. Reid noted that Strasburg was the Nationals’ 2009 first-round draft pick and that the team’s 2010 first-round pick is Las Vegas native Bryce Harper.

“He did very, very well,” Reid said of Strasburg. “He’s right-handed but reminded me so much [of] Sandy Koufax.”

Koufax, a left hander who played for the Dodgers franchise in Brooklyn and Los Angeles from 1955 to 1966, is considered among the greatest pitchers in baseball history.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) joined Reid on the floor in complimenting Strasburg’s performance, noting that he was at Tuesday evening’s game at Nationals Park in Southeast D.C.

But the bipartisanship ended there, with McConnell using his opening floor remarks to criticize the White House and Congressional Democrats on a variety of subjects.

“Our nation faces many urgent crises at the moment. Americans are looking for solutions. They’re not getting any from Washington,” McConnell said. “Whether it’s the housing crisis, the financial crisis, the debt crisis, or the crisis in the Gulf, what they’re getting is a White House and a Democrat majority in Congress that seems more intent on pursuing a government-driven political agenda than in finding common-sense solutions to the problems that ail us.”