Reid Laughs at Prospect of Bringing GOP Bills Up for Votes in Senate

December 13, 2012 - 3:30 PM

HARRY REID NEVADA JOBS

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) listens to a reporter's question following a Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Las Vegas Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Sun, Steve Marcus)

(CNSNews.com) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) complained that House Republicans are refusing to bring some Senate-passed legislation to the floor – but dismissed the question of when he might bring many House-passed measures up for a Senate vote.

“I can give you a long list of things we haven’t done,” Reid said at his weekly press conference when CNSNews.com asked if he would ever bring languished GOP bills up for a vote.

Reid claimed that it was simply too time consuming for the Senate to act on the House measures sent over by Boehner, claiming that Senate procedures took up too much time.

“Every time you come to a bill [on the Senate floor] you have to have a Motion to Proceed [and] it takes about 10 days, and it limits what we can get done here,” he said.

Reid, as majority leader in the Senate, controls the floor schedule – deciding which bills will come to the floor and when.

When asked again if he might bring any of the House-passed bills to the floor, Reid chuckled and said “some time is a long time, I guess.”

Reid complained during his opening remarks that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) had refused to take action on several Senate-passed bills, including a bill that would extend current tax rates for everyone making under $250,000 per year, allowing rates to rise only on those making more.

“Speaker Boehner knows or should know that the middle class tax help that we have to pass would sail through the House of Representatives. Democrats would overwhelmingly vote for it. I would doubt that there would be any Democrat that would vote against it,” Reid said.

Democrats passed the bill in July, in an attempt to demonstrate that the Senate could muster the votes necessary to raise taxes on those making $250,000 per year or more.

The House has taken no action on the bill as Republicans strongly oppose the idea of raising taxes on anyone.

Reid said the Senate had “nothing to do” until the House takes action on the Senate-passed legislation.

“We have nothing to do until they do something,” he said. “We’ve been waiting for them to do something that will help the middle class.”

So far, the Senate has not taken action on several high-priority House bills, including the 2013 version of the Ryan budget, a GOP bill to avoid part of the fiscal cliff, a GOP bill to pave the way for tax reform, and the House’s Cut, Cap, and Balance long-term spending plan.

In total, there are 40 House-passed bills, according to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) office, that have passed the House but languish in the Senate.