Harry Mason Reid is the senior United States Senator from Nevada and a member of the Democratic Party, as well as the U.S. Senate Majority Leader for the 110th Congress.
Reid has been leader of the Senate Democrats since 2005, serving as Minority Leader from 2005 until the Democrats won control of the Senate in the 2006 congressional elections. Reid is the first member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve as Senate Majority Leader. His new memoir, The Good Fight: Hard Lessons from Searchlight to Washington, was released in May of 2008.
Question: Will you employ a different strategy of opposition?
Harry Reid: No. I think the opposition is going to continue. The problem we’ve had in not being more successful in opposition to the war has been we have a majority, but it is ever so slim. Before the 90 Democratic senators were sworn in in January, Tim Johnson from South Dakota, a Democrat, had a very bad bleed on the brain. He was unconscious and near death for five weeks. He was out of work for 10 months. So my majority dropped from 50 to 49. With Joe Lieberman, who votes with us on virtually everything else, against us every step of the way on our trying to change the course of the war in Iraq. I had no majority. It was 49 to 50. But in spite of that, we did some good things. We up-armored the vehicles, in spite of the president’s opposition. We got more body armor for the troops. We took care of the scandal at Walter Reed. We have done many good things for the veterans the Republicans refused to help us with. We’re going to continue working. But the good news as we speak, we are competitive in 11 senate races around the country. I don’t know how many we’ll pick up, but right now our margin is one. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if my margin was five or six?
Question: Is Nancy Pelosi’s bypassing the House Appropriations Committee a sign of things to come?
Harry Reid: One of the things I talk about in my book is that I’ve had the good fortune to serve with a lot of speakers--Tip O’Neill, Jim Wright, Hastert. I worked with Hastert. I worked with Gingrich, all of them. But never have I worked with anyone as good as Nancy Pelosi. She is very, very strong. The other thing I’ve become impressed with over the years with Speaker Pelosi is her ability to make decisions. That’s something we need more of in government is decision makers. She and I together have worked to come up with a supplemental appropriations bill. It hasn’t been easy. We’ve had a few kinks in the road, but we finished much of it last night. I think we’re going to come up with a very good package. We’ve done it the way we think it’s necessary to be done. We’ve had longstanding consultations with Chairman Obey of the House, the appropriations chairman there. I think it’s a pretty good program we’ve come up with.