Joe Biden

Statement on the Death of Former Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid

December 28, 2021

Harry Reid and I grew up on different sides of the country, but we came from the same place where certain values run deep: loyalty, faith, resolve, service.

During the two decades we served together in the United States Senate, and the 8 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.

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.

Under his watch as Senate Majority Leader, Harry helped pass the Recovery Act to prevent another Great Depression. He helped rescue the American auto industry. He helped pass the Affordable Care Act and Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform, ended "don't ask, don't tell," and ratified the New START Treaty.

Throughout his entire career in the Senate, he led battles over budgets, fought to give our troops what they needed in battle and what they earned and deserved upon their return home. He was a bulwark against efforts to privatize Social Security. He was the champion who created Nevada's Great Basin National Park. And he was a leader who believed the Federal bench should reflect the diversity of America.

I've had the honor of serving with some of the all-time great Senate Majority Leaders in our history. Harry Reid was one of them. And for Harry, it wasn't about power for power's sake. It was about the power to do right for the people.

A son of Searchlight, Nevada, Harry never forgot his humble roots. A boxer, he never gave up a fight, whether in politics or even against cancer. A great American, Harry looked at the challenges of the world and believed it was within our capacity to do good, to do right, and to do our part of perfecting the Union we all love.

But above all, Harry was first and foremost the devoted husband to his dear Landra. Over six decades together, they built a remarkable family with their children—Lana, Rory, Leif, Josh, and Key—and all of their grandchildren and great-grandchild. Jill and I send our love and prayers to Landra and the entire Reid family.

May God bless Harry Reid, a dear friend and a giant of our history.

NOTE: The statement referred to Lana Barringer, daughter of former Sen. Reid.

Joseph R. Biden, Statement on the Death of Former Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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