Biden, lawmakers mourn Harry Reid

Current and former elected officials from both sides of the aisle are voicing appreciation for former Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Connected Commerce Council - Biden faces reporters as his agenda teeters Biden hits one-year mark in dire straits 'All or nothing' won't bolster American democracy: Reform the filibuster and Electoral Count Act MORE (D-Nev.), who died on Tuesday at the age of 82. 

“During the two decades we served together in the United States Senate, and the eight years we worked together while I served as Vice President, Harry met the marker for what I’ve always believed is the most important thing by which you can measure a person — their action and their word,” President BidenJoe BidenBiden says he didn't 'overpromise' Finland PM pledges 'extremely tough' sanctions should Russia invade Ukraine Russia: Nothing less than NATO expansion ban is acceptable MORE said in a statement.

“If Harry said he would do something, he did it. If he gave you his word, you could bank on it. That’s how he got things done for the good of the country for decades.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The president added that he and the first lady "send our love and prayers" to the entire Reid family.

“When Harry Reid was nearing the end, his wife Landra asked some of us to share letters that she could read to him. In lieu of a statement, here’s what I wrote to my friend,” former President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaDemocrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown Biden nominates Jane Hartley as ambassador to UK To boost economy and midterm outlook, Democrats must pass clean energy bill MORE said in a statement on the passing of Reid, who died after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

"I wouldn’t have been president had it not been for your encouragement and support, and I wouldn’t have got most of what I got done without your skill and determination," Obama wrote.

“The world is better cause of what you’ve done,” he added. “Not bad for a skinny, poor kid from Searchlight, [Nev.].”

ADVERTISEMENT

Former President Clinton called Reid “one of the most effective Senate leaders our country has ever known.” 

“Ever the boxer of his youth, he never shied away from necessary political fights, but believed compromise is vital for a functioning democracy," Clinton said.

“Harry Reid was one of the most amazing individuals I've ever met,” Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown DACA highlights pitfalls of legalization schemes The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Schumer tees up doomed election reform vote MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a statement. 

“He never forgot where he came from and used those boxing instincts to fearlessly fight those who were hurting the poor & the middle class. He’s gone but will walk by the sides of many of us in the Senate every day.” 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown Mellman: Voting rights or the filibuster?  Budowsky: To Dems: Run against the do-nothing GOP, Senate MORE (Ky.), who as GOP leader was often at loggerheads with Reid, said in a statement that he "will rightly go down in history as a crucial, pivotal figure in the development and history of his beloved home state."

ADVERTISEMENT

"The nature of Harry’s and my jobs brought us into frequent and sometimes intense conflict over politics and policy. But I never doubted that Harry was always doing what he earnestly, deeply felt was right for Nevada and our country," McConnell said.

Reid served as majority leader from 2006 to 2014 before retiring from politics in 2017. He was elected Senate Democratic whip in 1998 and Senate Democratic leader in 2004, and became majority leader when Democrats took over the House and Senate

“To say @SenatorReid was a giant doesn’t fully encapsulate all that he accomplished on behalf of the state of Nevada and for Nevada families; there will never be another leader quite like Senator Reid,” Nevada Gov. Steve SisolakSteve SisolakLas Vegas offering teachers up to K bonus to remain at work amid COVID-19 surge Seven most vulnerable governors facing reelection in 2022 Eleven interesting races to watch in 2022 MORE (D) said. 

ADVERTISEMENT

In a statement, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiJoining Pelosi, Hoyer says lawmakers should be free to trade stocks Budowsky: To Dems: Run against the do-nothing GOP, Senate Momentum builds to prohibit lawmakers from trading stocks MORE (D-Calif.) said that in Reid, "America lost a titan of public service."

"Senator Reid leaves behind an extraordinary legacy of patriotism and leadership that will benefit the Congress and Country for decades to come," Pelosi said.

“Harry Reid was such a unique person with infinite layers of life experience. If he said he would do something, you could cross it off the list,” Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDesperate Dems signal support for cutting Biden bill down in size Overnight Energy & Environment — Biden's wildfire plan White House dismisses report of new Build Back Better package MORE (D-Va.) said. “And he expected the same from everyone, an endearing trait for anyone, especially someone in politics.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“I am sad tonight but grateful for the friendship I had with Harry. We disagreed on many things, sometimes famously. But we were always honest with each other,” former Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDemocrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit Stopping the next insurrection Biden, lawmakers mourn Harry Reid MORE (R-Ohio) said in a statement. 

“In the years after we left public service, that honesty became a bond. Harry was a fighter until the end. RIP, my friend.” 

“Even tho I am ideologically opposite I must say he did a good job representing the interests of Nevada in the US Senate As majority ldr he ran a tight ship,” Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyBig Tech critics launch new project Senate antitrust bill has serious ramifications for consumers and small businesses Hillicon Valley: Amazon's Alabama union fight — take two MORE (R-Iowa) said on Twitter. 

Sen. Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoOvernight Energy & Environment — Lummis holds up Biden EPA picks Dems block Cruz's Nord Stream 2 sanctions bill Vulnerable Senate Democrats see massive fundraising hauls in last quarter of 2021 MORE (D), a protege of Reid's who succeeded him in the upper chamber, said in a statement that he “was a champion for Nevada.” 

“The American people are better off because of the leadership of Senator Harry Reid. He gave millions of Americans access to affordable health care and made such a difference to countless people,” Cortez Masto said. 

“He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, mentor and friend, and a true son of Nevada. His legacy will be forever connected to the history of our state, and he will be deeply missed.”

Senate Democratic Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinDemocrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown Democrats, poised for filibuster defeat, pick at old wounds  Schumer prepares for Senate floor showdown with Manchin, Sinema MORE (Ill.), who served as Reid's No. 2 during his time as majority leader, said that "Harry was the best."

“He brought me into Senate leadership to be by his side nearly twenty years ago and trusted me to be his partner on the biggest political achievements of our lifetime," Durbin said.

“In the last two years, he would always end our phone calls with ‘I love you brother.’ And that is what our forty year friendship became: a brotherhood, a trust, and a shared love for helping others.”

Condolences in particular poured in from across the Senate's Democratic caucus:

"In his many years of service to the State of Nevada and our nation — as a state legislator, Lieutenant Governor, member of Congress, and Senator — Harry Reid demonstrated his deep commitment to his community, his Party, and his country," Judith Whitmer, chair of the Nevada Democratic Party, said in a statement. "Senator Reid’s work to protect and conserve Nevada’s natural resources, one of his top priorities throughout his nearly 50-year career, leaves a lasting legacy across our landscape."

—Updated at 10:40 p.m.