Reid pledges cooperation on spending bills next year
© Greg Nash
Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidLobbying world Democrats aim to protect Grand Canyon from 'imminent' drilling threat Warren's careful approach with media pays off MORE (D-Nev.) is suggesting Democrats will cooperate on moving 12 stand-alone appropriations bills next year, after the process largely stalled in 2015. 
 
"The speaker and I had a number of conversations. He wants to do appropriations bills. I want to do appropriations bills, and there's no reason we can't," he told reporters at an end-of-the-year conference. "We're going to do them." 
 
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The Democratic leader's comments come the same day lawmakers passed a massive catch-all spending bill on the last day of the Senate's 2015 schedule.
 
Reid, however, warned that any spending bill would need to go through a "fair process," leaving open the possibility that Democrats could block individual bills if they believe they contain "poison pill" riders. 
 
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) previously suggested he had reached an agreement with the Senate Democratic leader to help smooth the appropriations process next year. 
 
"Senator Reid blocked appropriation bills last year because of sequester issues. The reason he blocked those appropriation bills is now gone," Ryan told reporters earlier this week. "So I think he too wants to get us back to regular order."
 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has also stressed that he wants to move 12 individual appropriations bills, as opposed to one large year-end measure. While McConnell and other Republicans ultimately supported the omnibus bill, they've indicated they are frustrated by the last-minute process.
 
"I know Harry has said on several occasions we want to pass each appropriations bill next year," he told reporters on Friday. "I say amen. Help us do it, and we'll do it." 
 
But Reid added Friday that Democrats wouldn't let spending bills avoid procedural hurdles, which could eat up limited Senate floor time and require 60 votes to take up or end debate on legislation. 
 
"We're not going to skip anything," he insisted. 
 
The Senate passed one stand-alone appropriations bill in 2015 that would fund military construction and veterans benefits. Lawmakers passed the legislation shortly before leaving for a Veterans Day recess.