Difference between revisions of "Harry Reid"

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Revision as of 13:52, 22 July 2014

Harry Reid
Harry Reid.jpg
U.S. Senate, Nevada
In office
January 3, 1987-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 28
PredecessorPaul D. Laxalt (R)
Senate Majority Leader
Senate Minority Leader
Senate Majority Whip
Senate Minority Whip
1999-2001, 2003-2005
Base salary$193,400/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
First electedJanuary 3, 1987
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Campaign $$33,722,950
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
United States House of Representatives District 1
Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission
Lieutenant Governor of Nevada
Nevada Assembly
Bachelor'sUtah State University
J.D.George Washington University
Date of birthDecember 2, 1939
Place of birthSearchlight, Nevada
Net worth$4,491,031
ReligionThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon)
Office website
Campaign website
Harry Mason Reid (b. December 2, 1939, in Searchlight, NV) is a Democratic member of the United States Senate from the state of Nevada. Reid was first elected to the Senate in 1987. He has served as Senate Majority Leader since January 2007.

Prior to his election to the United States Senate, Reid served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983 to 1987.[1]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Reid is an average Democratic member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Democratic Party on the majority of bills.


Reid was born in Searchlight, Nevada. Reid attended Southern Utah University and graduated from Utah State University. He then went to George Washington University Law School earning a J.D. while working for the United States Capitol Police.[1]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Reid's academic, professional and political career:[1]

  • 1969-1970: Nevada State Assembly
  • 1977-1981: Chairman, Nevada Gaming Commission
  • 1983-1987: U.S. House of Representatives
  • 1987-present: U.S. Senate

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Reid served on the following committee:

Key votes

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 224 out of the 3215 introduced bills (7 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[2] The Senate confirmed 13,949 out of 18,323 executive nominations received (76.1 percent). For more information pertaining to Reid's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[3]

National security

American intervention in Syria

See also: United States involvement in Syria

Reid spoke to the Senate in support of military intervention in Syria. He said, "If we allow Assad’s use of chemical weapons to go unchecked and unanswered, hostile forces around the world will also assume these terrible attacks of demons like Assad are permissible, they’re OK. Americans cannot allow that. My mind returns to that turning point in the world history when the United States of America faced down an evil regime that murdered millions of innocent citizens. Millions and millions of civilians and prisoners of war were murdered by gas in Nazi death camps.” Reid added, “Some prefer isolation. That’s the easy thing to do. But sitting on the sideline isn’t what made the United States of America the greatest nation in the world in years past. Sitting on the sidelines won’t make us a better nation tomorrow.”[4]

Reid on Syria

John Brennan CIA nomination

Voted "Yes" Reid voted for the confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013, with a vote of 63 - 34. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.[5]


Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

On September 26, 2013, in regards to the government shutdown, Reid said that there would be no concessions from the Senate on Obamacare to avoid a government shutdown.[6]

Reid and other Democratic leaders said that they would only accept a clean continuing resolution. He refused to say whether he would accept a one-week continuing resolution from House members, which could have been a last-minute safety valve if the two chambers did not agree on a longer solution.[6]

“I’m not going to speculate on what they are going to do. We have all made it very clear: We’ll have a clean CR,” Reid said. “Right now, they do not know what they are going to do. They’re throwing all this mud to see what sticks on the wall.”[6]

Voted "Yes" During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[7] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Reid voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[8]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Voted "Yes" Reid voted for H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.[9]


See also: Healthcare.gov website rollout

Reid said that he was not worried about the Healthcare.gov difficulties impacting Democrats negatively in the 2014 election cycle. He said, "I think it’s going to be good for them. By that time, there will be a lot of people on it that have already signed up. It’ll be fine." He added, "We have 21 Democratic senators that are up, and … we’re watching two or three of them closely, but to take over the majority they’d need six seats. I’m not cocky, but I am comfortable where we are. I think we’re in pretty good shape." He also defended President Barack Obama's claim that people could keep their insurance plans. He said, "Remember what the president said: ‘If you like your insurance, you can keep it.’ There is nobody in America that has the same insurance that … they had when he said this. We’ve had three different years. The policies are only for one year." He added, "I still go back and say what I said earlier. What he said was true. If you want to keep the insurance you have you can keep it. The problem is … we did not put the bill into effect that way. There’s a lot of administrative things that kicked in, and there have been three changes in anyone’s policy since then. It’s not the same policy."[10]


Mexico-U.S. border

Voted "No" Reid voted against Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.[11]

Social issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Voted "Yes" Reid voted for S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.[12]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Reid voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by an 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.[13]


On The Issues Vote Match

Harry Reid's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Reid is a Moderate Liberal Populist. Reid received a score of 52 percent on social issues and 31 percent on economic issues.[14]

Note: We are working to resolve inaccuracies with this information. Thank you for your patience.

On The Issues organization logo.

IRS targeting

On May 10, 2013, news broke that various branches of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had specifically targeted conservative groups' applications for tax-exempt status. This began during the tea party surge in 2010. The agency was separating tax-exempt applications by searching for political terms such as "tea party" and "patriot." In June 2011, an IRS official was briefed on these transgressions and asked that this practice end. The flagging continued, however, when the criteria was changed in January 2012 to look out for groups educating on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.[15]

The targeting included allegations that tea party groups were forced to provide information not asked of other tax exempt groups. Examples of this included requests for donor information, Facebook posts, resumes and political intentions of group officials and connections to other groups.[16][17]

On May 16, IRS Commissioner Steven Miller announced his resignation. He still testified at the hearings the next day.[18]

As a result of this scandal, Republicans and many Democratic members of Congress, including Reid, publicly called for a deeper investigation into these matters. The House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on May 17 during which it was disclosed that the Obama administration was made aware of the targeting on June 4, 2012.[19]

On May 20, Senators Max Baucus and Orrin Hatch sent a written inquiry regarding the process for how the agency reviewed applications for tax exempt status. The letter also requested any correspondence between White House officials and the IRS mentioning 501(c) organizations.[20]

During the May 22 House committee hearing on the issue, Lois Lerner, head of the IRS tax-exempt organizations office, declined to answer questions citing her Fifth Amendment right.[21] The next day, May 23, Lerner was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation after Senators John McCain and Carl Levin called on IRS officials to place her on suspension.[22] Lerner retired on September 23, 2013.[23]


A Washington Post investigation in February 2012 revealed that 33 members of Congress helped direct more than $300 million in earmarks to public projects in close proximity to commercial and residential real estate owned by the lawmakers or their family members.[24] According to the report, Reid secured $21.5 million to build a bridge over the Colorado River, linking the gambling resort town of Laughlin, Nev., with Bullhead City, Ariz. Reid owns 160 acres of undeveloped land in Bullhead City.[25]

Criticism of Ted Cruz

Reid had harsh words for Republican Senator Ted Cruz in October 2013. He said he hoped that Cruz runs in 2016 for President because it would bring down the GOP. Reid explained, "If I didn’t care so much about our country, I would hope he would get the Republican nomination for president, because that would mean the end of the Republican Party. With Ted Cruz, I am sure this will help him raise more money." He added he was not worried another shutdown would happen because of how badly the most recent shutdown damaged the Republicans' poll numbers. However, Reid lashed out at moderate Republicans who voted with the tea party Republicans--"My disappointment in all of this is not the 80 or 90 people who live in some other political world that I don’t understand. But my disappointment is the so-called moderates who went along with this vote after vote after vote. Einstein said this, pure definition of insanity is somebody who does something over and over and over again and expects a different result. So that was my No. 1 concern, that these so-called moderate Republicans went along with this crazy stuff." He also commented on an incident with Senator Tom Coburn. At a New York Young Republican Club meeting in October 2013, Coburn was discussing camaraderie in the U.S. Senate. He specifically mentioned a good relationship with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), but when it came to Sen. Harry Reid, Coburn's sentiments were not so positive. According to attendees, Coburn referred to Reid as an "absolute a--hole."[26] Reid said that he didn't believe Coburn meant what he said and they had worked out their issues.[27]

"Nuclear option"

On November 21, 2013, Reid invoked the "nuclear option," cutting the 60-vote threshold required for executive branch nominees to reach the floor for confirmation votes to a simple majority vote. The rule change came after Senate Republicans blocked three D.C. Circuit Court judges from confirmation.[28] Tensions in the chamber became increasingly hostile, and the decision to invoke the "nuclear option" was expected to make problems worse. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stated, "Some of us have been around here long enough to know that the shoe is sometimes on the other foot." He continued, "You may regret this a lot sooner than you think."[29]

The "nuclear option" was not popular with John McCain either. Prior to giving a speech on the floor criticizing the change, McCain told Reid, "I'm going to kick the crap out of you." Expecting the criticism, Reid replied, "John, I would expect nothing less."[30]

The rule change passed by a vote of 52-48, with three Democrats voting against the change.[28]

Opinion of Rand Paul

Reid apparently grew fond of Rand Paul despite ideological differences. In December 2013, he said, "I met in the last few days with Rand Paul, spent a lot of time with him, and I have grown to really like him. He’s — even though he has some set political views, he wants to get things done here. And I find that throughout the Republicans. I think they want to get things done. And I hope that’s true."[31]

Floor time in 2013

According to analysis of CSPAN video by the Los Angeles Times, Reid spent 30 hours speaking on the floor in 2013. He was beat by Jeff Sessions, who held the floor for 33 hours.[32]



On November 2, 2010, Reid won re-election to the United States Senate. He defeated Sharron Angle (R), None of the Above, Scott Ashjian (Tea Party), Timothy Fasano (Independent American) and independent candidates Michael L. Haines, Jesse Holland, Jeffery C. Reeves and Wil Stand.[33]

U.S. Senate, Nevada General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngHarry Reid Incumbent 50.3% 362,785
     Republican Sharron Angle 44.5% 321,361
     None of the Above - 2.2% 16,174
     Tea Party Scott Ashjian 0.8% 5,811
     Independent Michael L. Haines 0.6% 4,261
     Independent American Timothy Fasano 0.4% 3,185
     Independent Jesse Holland 0.4% 3,175
     Independent Jeffery C. Reeves 0.3% 2,510
     Independent Wil Stand 0.3% 2,119
Total Votes 721,381

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Reid is available dating back to 2004. Based on available campaign finance records, Reid raised a total of $33,722,950 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 25, 2013.[38]

Harry Reid's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2010 U.S. Senate (Nevada) Won $24,815,104
2004 U.S. Senate (Nevada) Won $8,907,846
Grand Total Raised $33,722,950


Breakdown of the source of Reid's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Reid was re-elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010. His campaign committee raised a total of $24,815,104 and spent $25,975,547.[39]

Personal Gain Index

Congressional Personal Gain Index graphic.png
See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have prospered during their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics pioneered by the Government Accountability Institute:

PGI: Change in net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
Net Worth Metric graphic.png

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Reid's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $2,565,061 and $6,178,999. That averages to $4,372,030.00, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2012 of $13,566,333.90. Reid ranked as the 32nd most wealthy senator in 2012.[40] Between 2004 and 2012, Reid's calculated net worth[41] decreased by an average of 1 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2014, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[42]

Harry Reid Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2004 to 2012:-5%
Average annual growth:-1%[43]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[44]
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.


Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Reid is a "moderate Democratic leader" as of July 2014.[45] This was the same rating Reid received in July 2013.

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[46]

Reid most often votes with:

Reid least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Reid missed 103 of 9,229 roll call votes from January 1987 to July 2014. This amounts to 1.1 percent, which is better than the median of 2.0 percent among current senators as of July 2014.[47]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Reid paid his congressional staff a total of $2,465,489 in 2011. He ranked 9th on the list of the lowest paid Democratic senatorial staff salaries and ranked 35th overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Nevada ranked 42nd in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[48]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Click the link above for the full ratings of all members of Congress.


Reid ranked 20th in the liberal rankings in 2013.[49]


Reid ranked 7th in the liberal rankings in 2012.[50]


Reid ranked 18th in the liberal rankings in 2011.[51]

Voting with party

The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus.


Reid voted with the Democratic Party 94.4 percent of the time, which ranked 32nd among the 53 Senate Democratic members as of July 2014.[52]


Reid voted with the Democratic Party 94.8 percent of the time, which ranked 30th among the 52 Senate Democratic members as of June 2013.[53]


In 1959, Reid married his high school sweetheart, Landra Gould. They have five children, a daughter and four sons.[54]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Harry + Reid + Nevada + Senate

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Harry Reid News Feed

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See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "REID, Harry - Biographical Information," accessed July 1, 2013
  2. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  3. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  4. Politico, "Harry Reid: ‘We should have this debate’," accessed September 9, 2013
  5. Project Vote Smart, "PN 48 - Nomination of John Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Politico, "Dems: No Obamacare concessions," accessed September 26, 2013
  7. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  8. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  9. Project Vote Smart, "HR 325 - To Ensure the Complete and Timely Payment of the Obligations of the United States Government Until May 19, 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  10. Roll Call, "Reid Predicts Obamacare Will Prove Beneficial in 2014 Elections," accessed December 5, 2013
  11. Project Vote Smart, "S Amdt 1197 - Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  12. Project Vote Smart, "S 47 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 - Voting Record," accessed September 25, 2013
  13. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" accessed January 4, 2013
  14. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ontheissues
  15. USA Today, "IRS knew of Tea Party profiling in 2011, report shows," accessed May 16, 2013
  16. Politico, "The IRS wants YOU- to share everything," accessed May 16, 2013
  17. Washington Post, "IRS officials in Washington were involved in targeting of conservative groups," accessed May 16, 2013
  18. CNN, "'Angry' Obama announces IRS leader's ouster after conservatives targeted," accessed May 16, 2013
  19. The New York Times, "Treasury Knew of I.R.S. Inquiry in 2012, Official Says," accessed May 17, 2013
  20. Politico, "Max Baucus and Orrin Hatch expand IRS probe," May 20,2013
  21. The Washington Post, "Lois Lerner invokes Fifth Amendment in House hearing on IRS targeting," May 22, 2013
  22. CBS, "IRS official Lois Lerner placed on leave," May 23, 2013
  23. Wall Street Journal, "Lois Lerner, at Center of IRS Investigation, Retires," accessed December 16, 2013
  24. Washington Post, "Congressional earmarks sometimes used to fund projects near lawmakers' properties," February 6, 2012
  25. Washington Post, "Mapping the earmarks," February 6, 2012
  26. Politico, "Report: Tom Coburn called Harry Reid 'absolute a--hole,'" accessed October 29, 2013
  27. Politico, "Harry Reid: Ted Cruz ‘16 would be end of GOP," accessed October 31, 2013
  28. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Politico
  29. Washington Post, "Reid, Democrats trigger 'nuclear' option; eliminate most filibusters on nominees," November 21, 2013
  30. CBS local, "McCain To Reid: ‘I’m Going To Kick The Crap Out Of You’," accessed December 20, 2013
  31. Roll Call, "Harry Reid Warms to Rand Paul," accessed December 20, 2013
  32. Politico, "Report: Sessions Senate No. 1 talker," accessed January 2, 2014
  33. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  34. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
  35. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998," accessed March 28, 2013
  36. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1992," accessed March 28, 2013
  37. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 1986," accessed March 28, 2013
  38. Open Secrets, "Donor history for Harry Reid" accessed April 25, 2013
  39. Open Secrets, "Harry Reid 2010 Election Data," accessed October 28, 2011
  40. OpenSecrets, "Reid, (D-NV), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  41. This figure represents the average annual percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below) to 2012, divided by the number of years calculated.
  42. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  43. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  44. This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
  45. GovTrack, "Harry Reid," accessed July 22, 2014
  46. OpenCongress, "Harry Reid," accessed July 22, 2014
  47. GovTrack, "Harry Reid," accessed July 22, 2014
  48. LegiStorm, "Harry Reid"
  49. National Journal, "2013 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed July 22, 2014
  50. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed March 5, 2013
  51. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  52. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  53. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  54. United States Senator for Nevada, Harry Reid, "Biography"
Political offices
Preceded by
Paul Laxalt
United States Senate - Nevada
Succeeded by
Preceded by
James David Santini
United States House of Representatives - District 1
Succeeded by
James Bilbray
Preceded by
Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Edward Fike
Nevada Lieutenant Governor
Succeeded by
Robert Rose
Preceded by
Nevada Assembly
Succeeded by