At a Tuesday afternoon press conference, Senate majority leader Harry Reid blamed laws restricting abortion and pro-lifers who picket abortion clinics for pushing women to the clinic of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted Monday for murdering three infants.
"What led to these convictions of murder for this man is the fact that people have been pushed back into these holes to do something that's legal," Reid said before mentioning the picketing of clinics and "all these restrictive laws."
According to the Senate's top Democrat, the case highlighted the need for "clean and sterile" late-term abortion clinics.
"I think to keep pushing these clinics back into the situations where they wind up like this is wrong," Reid said. "I think no matter how you stand on the issue of abortion, people who make that decision should do it and not have to be worried about infections and some butcher like this doing the bad things they do. They should be in a place that's clean and sterile and have people that know what they're doing and care about what they do."
Reid's remarks came in response to a question from THE WEEKLY STANDARD about whether or not he supports a bill introduced last week that would ban abortion in the nation's capital after the fifth month of pregnancy, with exceptions for when the life or physical health of the mother is at risk. There are currently no restrictions on abortion throughout all 9 months of pregnancy in the federal district. Reid did not directly comment on the bill but expressed general opposition to restrictions on abortion.
In an undercover video released recently by the pro-life group Live Action, a late-term abortionist who operates five blocks from the White House is asked by a pregnant woman what would happen if her baby were born alive during an abortion. "We would not help it," the doctor said.
Update: Reid has said for many years that he's "pro-life" and even voted in 2003 against an an amendment stating that Roe v. Wade was rightly decided. In addition to expressing hostility to abortion restrictions this afternoon, Reid declared flatly that "the law of the land is now what the Supreme Court has said."
Senate majority leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, said on the floor this morning that it's "tragic" Republicans are refusing immediately to accept Chuck Hagel as the next secretary of defense. Some Republicans contend that they need more information on Hagel before voting on his nomination.
Senate minority leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, asks for another tax hike this morning:
"Democrats believe we should replace this harsh austerity with a balanced approach that targets wasteful spending and tax loopholes," said Harry Reid, "and ask the wealthiest among us to contribute a little more to reduce the deficit."
On the floor of the Senate today, Harry Reid, a Democrat, praised President Obama's auto bailout:
"As a matter of fact, Mr. President, the figures are really staggering," said Reid. "500,000 manufacturing jobs have been added, 1 million jobs have been saved due to the president's auto rescue program. So that's a fairly significant change."
Senate majority leader Harry Reid helped set the precedent for looking into foreign backers when, in 2002, he demanded that Henry Kissinger reveal the source of his funders before serving on the 9/11 Commission. Kissinger refused to release his own documents, and therefore did not serve on the commission.
Senate leaders in both parties are brokering a deal to avert the so-called nuclear option Senate majority leader Harry Reid has threatened with regard to changing the body's filibuster rules. A Senate Republican aide confirms that the negotiated proposal between Reid and the GOP is well under way but will not include the requirement of a "talking filibuster"--a top priority of Oregon senator Jeff Merkley, a leader of the filibuster reform movement within the Senate.
Senate majority leader Harry Reid reiterated on Tuesday his plan to reform the rules of the Senate to weaken the filibuster and strengthen the majority party's power to move legislative debate forward. The Huffington Post reports:
House Republicans earlier today proposed a plan to raise the debt ceiling for only enough time (three months) to allow for Senate Democrats to produce a budget. The reason Democrats, who run the Senate, need to be prodded to propose a budget is simple: The Senate has not passed a budget in 1,360 days.
The last time the Senate passed a budget was April 29, 2009.
In that time, the debt has increased by $5.3 trillion. The amount spent by the federal government in that time is likewise enormous: $13.0 trillion.