Biden, Obama praise former Sen. Harry Reid at Nevada memorial service According to Reuters


© Reuters. The flag-covered casket of former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is seen during a memorial service in his honor at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., January 8, 2022 REUTERS / Evelyn Hockstein


By Jeff Mason

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – U.S. political celebrities including President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama celebrated the life of former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Saturday, describing him as the a humble pragmatist who gets the job done.

Reid passed away last month at the age of 82 after fighting battling pancreatic cancer.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also paid their respects to Reid at the Nevada memorial, which featured remarks by Reid family members and music from the singer-songwriter. Carole King.

Reid helped ensure Congress passed Obama’s signature healthcare law in 2010 in the face of stiff opposition from Republicans, and the former president says he couldn’t ask for a better friend. .

“Without Harry, there would be no Affordable Care Act,” Obama said in his eulogy. “Harry wouldn’t give up.”

Obama said Reid has gently indicated that he knows the Senate when Obama will question the changes or transactions he made to get the bill through.

“Practicalism, pragmatism, contempt for getting things done, indecisiveness and loyalty. That’s what Harry Reid stands for,” said Obama.

Obama, Biden, Pelosi and others describe Reid as having a tendency to cut conversations short and hang up the phone without saying goodbye. “Every time I hear the dial tone, I think of Harry,” quipped Biden.

Biden, who has served in the Senate for about 36 years, said Reid is one of the best majority leaders in history.

“For Harry, it’s not power. It’s about the benefits of power, the power to be able to use power to do what’s right for people,” he said.

Reid was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1982 and sent to the Senate by Nevada voters in 1986. He retired in 2016.

The president described Reid as an honest, honorable, decent, brave and resilient man.

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