Senate Majority leader Harry Reid pauses during a news conference following a meeting with President-elect Barack Obama on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Jan. 5, 2009
Democrats must be â€œvery, very carefulâ€ to avoid overreaching and will not rubber-stamp President-elect Obamaâ€™s policies, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday.
In an interview with The Hill, Reid said it is essential for Obama and congressional Democrats to work closely with Republicans in the new Congress. He added that 2009 is very different from 1993, the last time Democrats controlled both Congress and the White House.
Back then, Reid said, Democrats had controlled the House for decades and behaved as though the opposition did not exist. This time around, their recent stint in the minority would give them a commitment to bipartisanship.
â€œEven though weâ€™re one short of 60 [senators in the Democratic Conference], I donâ€™t want to ever have to depend on cloture,â€ Reid said. â€œWe may have to do that, but it will be with the support of a few Republicans.â€
Reid, who lambasted the GOP-led Congress for being a rubber stamp for President Bush, indicated that he will not bow to the Obama administration.
Reid stated, â€œI don’t believe in the executive power trumping everything… I believe in our Constitution, three separate but equal branches of government.â€
â€œIf Obama steps over the bounds, I will tell him. â€¦ I do not work for Barack Obama. I work with him,â€ he said.
The 69 year old Harry Reid speaks of preserving his own skin because his favorable ratings in incrreasingly conservative Nevada are in the tank. Reid stands for re-election in 2010 and the GOP would love to take him out.
Barack Obama won Nevada in November but more as a repudiation of President Bush and the Republican Party than love with the President-Elect.
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