Harry Reid's Priorities: Immigration, Not Assault Weapons

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gives some revealing insight into how he sees the Senate’s priorities this spring – priorities, in line with his support back home in Nevada, that are long on addressing immigration and not so high on banning “assault weapons”:


Calling for a “cautious” approach to gun control, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid downplayed the chances of the Senate renewing an assault-weapons ban in a weekend TV interview, suggesting he will instead move forward on measures with a better chance to pass muster in the Republican-controlled House.

“Let’s be realistic,” Reid said. “In the Senate, we’re going to do what we think can get through the House and I’m not going to go through a bunch of these gyrations just to say we’ve done something. If we’re really legislators, the purpose of it is to pass legislation.”

Asked by an interviewer on PBS’ Nevada Week in Review if the much-discussed assault-weapons ban would meet such a test, Reid suggested it wouldn’t.

“Is it something that can pass the Senate? Maybe. Is it something that can pass the House? I doubt it,” Reid said…

But Reid is much more enthusiastic about getting bipartisan support for immigration bills:

“Immigration’s our No. 1 item,” Reid said. He later added, “It’s going to be the first thing on our agenda.”
Reid said a bipartisan group of senators, led by Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin and Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, have been crafting a package.

“We may be able to come up with a bipartisan bill quicker than you think,” he said, adding that the senators “have agreed tentatively on a path to citizenship, which is the big stumbling block.”

“Yes, we’re going to get something significant,” Reid said, with a smile.


Your mileage may vary on which of these topics is more likely to produce mischief. But clearly, Reid in reading the tea leaves of the last election thinks Republicans are more apt to bend on immigration than guns. He may be right.


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