June 16, 2011
Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid made the following remarks today on the Senate floor after filing cloture on a bill to reauthorize the Economic Development Administration. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
Our staffs have been working diligently for several days to find a path that would allow the Senate to complete action on the jobs bill now on the floor. They’re working this hard because this bill – a bill to reauthorize the successful Economic Development Administration is so important.
For nearly half a century the Economic Development Administration has created jobs where they’re most needed: in economically distressed communities. In just the last five years, it’s created 300,000 jobs.
The merits of reauthorizing this job-creating administration are clear. EDA works with businesses, universities and leaders at the local level, so it creates jobs from the bottom up. It helps manufacturers and producers compete in the global marketplace. And it’s a great investment: every dollar from EDA attracts seven dollars in private-sector investment. That’s an incredible return rate.
Because of this agency’s success – and because each Senator is on record talking about the importance of creating jobs – this is the kind of bill that should pass on a bipartisan basis, if not unanimously. In the past, that’s exactly what would have happened.
But no more. Now we find ourselves struggling just to bring it up for a vote.
I heard the Republican Leader speak earlier today about the state of play on the EDA bill. Here is a brief review:
So far, we have had debate and votes on bank-card swipe fees, regulatory reform; and ethanol.
We now have pending a number of amendments related to the debt limit, Wall Street reform, health reform; and Davis-Bacon.
In addition, Senators have filed a number of amendments related to E-Verify, the border fence, the estate tax, right-to-work laws, gainful-employment regulation, the Endangered Species Act; and light bulbs and other energy-efficiency provisions.
I will continue to work with the Republican Leader to find a way to complete action on this bill, but it seems so far to be a never-ending process. This cannot continue. This process has to end so we can pass this bill, let the private sector create jobs the American people need, and let the Senate move on to other pressing matters.
I hope we can work something out, but in the meantime I am forced to file cloture on this bill.