The President’s Leadershipby Senator Harry Reid
Posted on 2016-01-12
REID. Mr. President, if this were a card game, which it is not, I
guess what I would do is trump what the Republican leader has said. My
friend lives in a world that doesn't exist. Let's talk about this
person named Barack Obama. What has happened under his time in office,
his 7 years, in spite of the unheard of, unrecognizable Senate that the
Republicans have created--cloture had to be filed more than 500 times
because they set out to block everything he wanted--in spite of that,
the state of the Union now reflects the last 7 years. We have 14
million private sector jobs that have been created. During the Obama
years, the economy has grown. The private sector created jobs for 70
straight months--the longest stretch in the history of our country.
Unemployment is at 5 percent. When Barack Obama took office, in some
States it was as much as 14 percent.
During the years of Barack Obama, 17 million uninsured Americans have gained access to health care--17 million--and the number is climbing. Renewable energy production has increased significantly. You drive across America today and you see wind farms in the middle part of this country, and farmers make more money from producing energy on their farms than they do harvesting corn and soybeans because of what the President suggested and what we legislated in the so-called stimulus bill.
Solar, wind, and geothermal has increased significantly, and it will continue to grow more because they have tax incentives now for as long as 7 additional years. You know what else we have done--not enough. The wealthiest Americans who don't mind paying more than their fair share-- the only people in America today who believe that these rich people shouldn't pay a little more are the Republicans in Congress, not Republicans around the country, so we made sure the wealthiest pay a little bit more.
We have secured permanent tax relief that will help lift 16 million lower income, middle-income families out of poverty. The auto industry was on the brink of destruction. General Motors, this icon of American industry, was begging for help. Chrysler Motors was begging for help. The Republicans said no. We Democrats said yes. We were right. Republicans were wrong. Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been created in the auto industry. Last year more American cars and trucks were sold than any time in the history of our country. Why? Because of Barack Obama's leadership.
Osama bin Laden is gone. He has been killed, and we destroyed and degraded terrorist organizations in our Nation. We have more to do. Of course we do.
There have been historic agreements on climate change. We have stopped Iran from getting access to nuclear weapons. Within the last few days, Iran has shipped 12 tons of uranium out of Iran because of Barack Obama. While we have a lot more to do for America on behalf of the American people, we can't ignore the progress that has been made.
My friend talks about the new Senate, and there is a new Senate because there is a constructive minority. We Democrats have been willing to work with them. The issues that we have been able to pass with rare exception have been issues that we should have passed years ago but we couldn't because Republicans filibustered and obstructed everything we tried to do.
I repeat: We have a lot more to do for the American people. It is a wonderful country, and I am so pleased with the progress we have made during the 7 years of Barack Obama.
Mr. President, I see no one on the floor. Please state the business of the day.