Below are rough notes from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s statements to the media a short time ago. The notes are from my FNC colleague Kara Rowland.
It is notable that Senator Reid says he is willing “to negotiate any issue.” He uses the word “is” and not “was.” His willingness to negotiate, frankly, is new as it relates to a budget for the nation. (See my posting at 11:48 if you don’t believe me.)
With the nation in gridlock, I hope this is not just hot air but genuine. I confess to being suspicious since his past actions speak loudly but let’s hope he means it.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just spoke to reporters for about 16 minutes in the Senate Radio/TV Gallery. The presser fed live on REM 234.
-One thing is for certain: “We’re the party of diversity.”
AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE TIRED GRIDLOCK
-“This was really the message the American people sent from all over and that is they’re tired of this partisan gridlock. They’re tired of things like, ‘well I have one goal, defeat Obama.’ That’s gone. Obama was reelected overwhelmingly. The American people want us to work together. Republicans want us to work together. Democrats want us to work together.”
-“It’s better to dance than to fight … everything doesn’t have to be a fight.”
-“Compromise is not a dirty word. I’m willing to negotiate any issue.”
-Says he plans to change the filibuster rule because “the rules have been abused”; did not offer any details though
CONVERSATION WITH BOEHNER
-Reid said he had a conversation Wednesday morning with House Speaker John Boehner, said it was “pleasant” and noted that their staffs work well with each other. Said he would wait to hear what Boehner says at his own presser later today before saying more.
-Says he is optimistic a deal will get done but that he does not favor a short-term fix: “We know what needs to be done.”
-Reid says the outcome of the election showed that people agree with Democrats that the rich should pay more
BALANCE OF POWER
-To say that nothing has changed as a result of the election is “as far off as things could be.” Notes Democrats picked up seats in both the House and Senate. “That’s not the status quo.” But declines whether to say it amounts to a mandate or not for the president.
Reid said immigration was very high on his list but gave no other details.
Capitol Hill producer, Fox News