Reid Remarks On The Koch Brothers’ Attempt To Buy America’s Democracy

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“The truth is, the Koch brothers are willing to do anything – even exploit Americans suffering from cancer – to advance their campaign of distortion.”

“These two multi-billionaires may spend hundreds of millions of dollars rigging the political process for their own benefit. And they may believe that whoever has the most money gets the most free speech. But I will do whatever it takes to expose their campaign to rig the American political system to benefit the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.”

 “Republicans are willing to defend the Koch brothers on the floor of the United States Senate. But are they willing to defend the Koch brothers’ radical policy agenda as well? If Republicans don’t support the Koch brothers’ survival of the richest philosophy, all they have to do is say so.”

 

Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid spoke on the Senate floor today regarding the Koch brothers’ efforts to rig our political system to benefit the rich. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve taken heat from Senate Republicans and conservative pundits for exposing two multi-billionaire  oil barons’ plan to rig the political system to favor the rich. After the fourteenth statement issued by a Koch brothers’ spokesmen, it was abundantly clear I’d gotten under the billionaires’ skin.

As the great Senator Pay Moynihan said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” And this week media outlets from the New York Times to the Washington Post to the Detroit News have revealed the truth: millions in political ads funded by the multi-billionaire Koch brothers are misleading at best. The truth is, the Koch brothers are willing to do anything – even exploit Americans suffering from cancer – to advance their campaign of distortion.

But I’m not afraid of the Koch brothers. None of us should not be afraid of the Koch brothers.

These two multi-billionaires may spend hundreds of millions of dollars rigging the political process for their own benefit. And they may believe that whoever has the most money gets the most free speech. But I will do whatever it takes to expose their campaign to rig the American political system to benefit the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

A number of Republican Senators have rushed to defend Koch brothers. If you ask me, the billionaires seem perfectly capable of defending themselves. But when Senate Republicans defend the Koch brothers, they are also defending the Koch brothers’ radical philosophy.

Those were Charles Koch’s own words, radical philosophy, by the way.

So I ask my Republican colleagues in the Senate, is even one of you willing to stand up and disavow the Koch brothers’ radical agenda?

Will Senate Republicans reject the Koch brothers’ radical plan to privatize Social Security and end Medicare as we know it?

Will Senate Republicans reject the Koch brothers’ radical plan to end the guarantee of affordable, quality health care and put insurance companies back in charge, so tens of millions of Americans are again one heart attack or car accident away from bankruptcy?

Will Senate Republicans reject the Koch brothers’ radical plan to allow insurance companies to deny coverage for a child with a heart murmur, a survivor of breast cancer, a teen who suffers from acne, or absolutely anyone with any a preexisting condition, no matter how minor?

Will Senate Republicans reject the Koch brothers’ radical plan to eliminate minimum wage laws and workplace safety standards?

Will Senate Republicans reject the Koch brothers’ radical plan to decimate America’s public education system?

Will Senate Republicans reject the Koch brothers’ radical plan to roll back environmental safeguards, and give themselves the unfettered right to pollute our air and water?

Will Senate Republicans reject the Koch brothers’ radical plan to give more tax breaks to the richest of the rich – to profitable oil companies, corporations that ship jobs overseas and billionaires who pay lower tax rates than their secretaries?

Not one Republican has stepped forward to disavow this radical agenda, so obviously they must agree with it. Republicans are willing to defend the Koch brothers on the floor of the United States Senate. But are they willing to defend the Koch brothers’ radical policy agenda as well? If Republicans don’t support the Koch brothers’ survival of the richest philosophy, all they have to do is say so.

Because the truth is, it would be a terrible thing to allow the Koch brothers to buy Congress. But it would be catastrophic to allow that Koch Brothers Congress to devastate the American middle class with their richest-take-all policy agenda.

This discussion isn’t just about fairness or the democratic way.  This discussion isn’t just about the inherent danger in allowing two multi-billionaire oil barons to buy America’s political system. This is also about how those two billionaires would use that political system once they’ve bought it – how they would abuse it in order to add zeroes to their bottom line while hurting middle-class families.

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