Monday, July 16, 2007

Senator Reid's Floor Speech Today

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) gave a compelling speech on the Senate floor this afternoon as he prepared Republicans to stay up all night tomorrow debating if they block a vote on the Reed-Levin bill to end the Iraq war.

An excerpt:
“My worst fears on this bill have been realized. We have just seen the Republican leadership again resort to technical maneuver to block progress on this crucial amendment. It would be one thing for Republicans to vote against this bill. If they honestly believe that ‘stay the course’ is the right strategy – they have the right to vote ‘No.’

“But now, Republicans are using a filibuster to block us from even voting on an amendment that could bring the war to a responsible end. They are protecting the President rather than protecting our troops. They are denying us an up or down – yes or no – vote on the most important issue our country faces.

“I would like to inform the Republican leadership and all my colleagues that we have no intention of backing down. If Republicans do not allow a vote on Levin-Reed today or tomorrow, we will work straight through the night on Tuesday. The American people deserve an open and honest debate on this war, and they deserve an up-or-down vote on this amendment to end it.

“Given the Republican leadership’s decision to block the amendment, we have no choice but to do everything we can in the coming days to highlight Republican obstruction. We do this in hopes of ultimately getting a simple up-or-down vote on this and other important amendments that could change the direction of the war.

“All Senators will be welcome to speak their mind. Those of us who are ready to end the war will make our case to the American people. Those who support the status quo are welcome to equal floor time to make their case. Let the American people hear the arguments. Let them see their elected representatives engaging in a full, open and honest debate. Let them hear why Republicans are obstructing us on this amendment.

“Whenever Republicans are ready to allow a vote on this most crucial legislation, we stand ready to deliver the new course that has been so long in coming.”
Please go here to read the entire speech.

Think Progress also has some good video of Reid speaking this afternoon.