Sen. Reid to Press: ‘You Guys Have an Obligation to Report’ the Democrats Are Right

Elizabeth Harrington | February 28, 2013 | 3:13pm EST
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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) (AP photo)

( – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday that the news media have an “obligation” to report that the Republicans are “unwilling to do what the American people want done” on looming automatic, across-the-board budget cuts.

During a news conference on Capitol Hill held on the eve of implementation of the cuts, known on Capitol Hill as “The Sequester,” a reporter asked Reid: “Can you understand the frustration of the American people that you’re blaming the Republicans, the Republicans are blaming you and nobody is talking until the day that these cuts kick in?”

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Reid replied: “You know I read an editorial today, and I don’t know whether it was the Times or the Post, where the op-ed writer said, ‘You know, let’s call it the way it is. The Republicans aren’t willing to deal with the Democrats.

“So all this stuff--Democrats aren’t doing anything, Republicans aren’t doing anything--I believe that you guys have an obligation to report it the way it is,” he said.

“This isn’t something that happened yesterday, we’ve been fighting this for a couple years,” Reid added. “They’re unwilling to do what the American people want done. And it’s as simple as that.”

Prior to his comments, Reid proposed dealing with sequestration in a “balanced” way by closing tax loop holes on the wealthy and asking “millionaires to pay a little bit more.”

“I really believe the American people deserve better than what the Republicans in this building believe is the right thing,” he said.

Sequestration -- which includes cuts to both defense and non-defense spending -- is set to go into effect on Friday, after lawmakers failed to reach an agreement on a minimum of $1.2 trillion in spending reductions from the Budget Control Act of 2011.

The reductions amount to 1.2 percent of the budget and equal $44 billion in spending for 2013.

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