Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Former Senate Leader Harry Reid To Lie In State At Capitol

Former Sen. Harry Reid will lie stateside at the US Capitol as aides and friends pay tribute to a hardened Democrat who rose from poverty in a dusty Nevada mining town to the most powerful position in the US Senate.

Reid will be honored at the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday during a ceremony closed to the public under COVID-19 protocols. He died last month at the age of 82 after a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

The longest-serving Nevadan in Congress and the Senate’s majority leader with two presidents, Reid helmed the chamber during one of its more consequential legislative sessions—the Great Recession and President Barack Obama’s landmark health care legislation. Getting the economic reform bill during

President Joe Biden called Reid a “great American” who “sees the world’s challenges and believes it is within our ability to do good, do right.”

During a funeral service in Las Vegas last weekend, Biden, Obama and others recalled one of Reid’s most famous traits — rather than closing in with long goodbyes to people, even presidents. But suddenly it hangs.

Some of the words Reid said were often brash and furious, senators unafraid to take on presidents (he called George W. Bush “losers”), criticism of the fossil fuel industry (“coal makes us sick”). ) or declares war on Iraq “lost.” He titled his 2008 autobiography “The Good Fight”.

Impressive in retirement, Reid said Biden should give his new presidency just three weeks to try to work with Republicans. If not, Biden should be forced to change the Senate’s filibuster rules to allow him to pass a simple majority of elections and voting rights legislation and other priorities, Reid said.

“The time is going to come when he has to go in and get rid of the filibuster,” Reid told the Associated Press.

Reid was born in the desolate mining town of Searchlight, Nevada, his father a hard-rock miner who later committed suicide, his mother doing laundry at home for the Bordellos. (He and the other children swam in the brothel pool.) The searchlight was a place, he said, that “had seen better days.”

There was no church in the city, his family had no religion. But a picture of President Franklin D. Roosevelt hanging in the Reed House would influence his political career.

Reed drove about 40 miles to attend high school and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as he made his way through college and law school. An amateur boxer, he once punched his future father-in-law after he was denied a date with Landra Gould, who would become his wife. They have been married for 62 years.

First elected to the House in 1982 and re-elected in 1984, Reid served 30 years in the Senate, including a decade as Senate Democratic leader.

Along the way, Reid rewrote the map of Nevada by expanding public land, stopping the planned Yucca Mountain nuclear waste outside Las Vegas; and achieved national monument status around artist Michael Heizer’s “City” installation in the desert. He quietly ensured federal funding to research UFOs.

A man of few words, Reid often wrote notes instead—for family, colleagues, and a Nevada student advocate who had reached out to changes in immigration law. He supported the DREAM Act and Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to protect young immigrants in America without legal status from deportation.

As his power grew, Reid built a Democratic legacy for his state with Nevada’s early presidential entourage. He left behind a state party apparatus sometimes known as the “Reed Machine” for its enduring political power to elect the next generation of Democratic leaders.

After suffering an exercise accident at home, and with Democrats back in the Senate minority, Reid announced he would not seek re-election in 2016.

In his farewell speech to the Senate, he acknowledged that he had done things that “probably not many people would do.” But he took his advice to those wondering how he made it from Searchlight to Washington.

“I didn’t make it because of my good looks. I didn’t make it because I’m a genius. I made it because I worked hard,” Reid said. “Whatever you want to try to do, make sure you try as hard as you can to do what you want to do.”

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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