* An April 2014 report by RealClearPolitics.com stated:
“[Reid’s] estimated net worth peaked at around $10 million just a few years ago, and he has remained consistently wealthier than when he entered Congress. (Reid reported that his net worth in 2012 was somewhere between $2.8 million and $6.3 million. His 2013 financial disclosures will be released later this year.) As of 2012, real estate composed about one-third of his portfolio. The rest was made up of government bonds; stakes in energy, electronics, pharmaceutical, and chemical companies; and other investments. He also possesses significant mining claims potentially worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
* Notwithstanding his populist rhetoric, Reid, in a moment of candor, revealed the disdain with which he has viewed many American voters. This occurred in December 2008, on the occasion of the opening of the new, $621 million Capitol Visitors Center in DC, where tourists could now wait in a comfortable underground facility before embarking on their pre-booked, guided tours of the U.S. Capitol. In his remarks at the opening ceremonies, Reid expressed relief that this new Center would serve to keep the masses at a greater distance from him, noting that “in the summertime, because the high humidity and how hot it gets here, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol. That’s no longer the case.”
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON REID’S “NUCLEAR OPTION”
On November 21, 2013, Majority Leader Harry Reid called for a Senate vote on the so-called “nuclear option,” the term for a monumentally dramatic change to the rules governing the confirmation of judicial and executive nominees. Traditionally, 60 Senate votes had been required to clear a procedural hurdle in the approval process for such nominees — meaning that the minority party, if it could muster 41 votes or more, had the ability to filibuster and block nominees of whom it disapproved. Under the new rule, only a simple majority would be needed to confirm all nominees other than Supreme Court Justices (for whom the 60-vote standard remained in effect). This would significantly diminish the power of the minority party, and would give the President virtually unchecked authority to appoint whomever he wished to the federal bench.
Fifty-two senators—all Democrats and Independents—voted in favor of the rules change. Three Democrats joined Republicans in opposing the measure.
During the preceding several weeks, Reid had grown resentful of Republican filibusters of three Obama nominees to the District of Columbia Circuit Court. Condemning such “gridlock,” he went to the Senate floor in the aftermath of the vote and said: “The need for change is so very, very obvious. It’s clearly visible. It’s manifest we have to do something to change things…. It’s time to change the Senate before this institution becomes obsolete.” But just two weeks earlier, Obama, at a Texas fundraiser, had bragged about “remaking the courts” and told the audience: “In addition to the Supreme Court, we’ve been able to nominate and confirm judges of extraordinary quality all across the country on federal benches. We’re actually, when it comes to the district court, matching the pace of previous presidents. When it comes to the appellate court, we’re just a little bit behind, and we’re just going to keep on focused on it.”
Reid’s, and the Democrats’, primary objective was to empower President Obama to pack the federal courts with radical leftists serving lifetime appointments.
Nine years earlier, when Republicans controlled the Senate during a period when Democrats repeatedly filibustered George W. Bush’s judicial nominees, Reid had said the following: “The filibuster is not a scheme, and it certainly isn’t new. The filibuster is far from a procedural gimmick. It’s part of the fabric of this institution we call the Senate.” When Republicans, at that time, were threatening to invoke the nuclear option over stalled nominees, Reid argued passionately against the procedure: “They are talking about doing something illegal,” he said in April of that year. “They are talking about breaking the rules to change the rules, and that is not appropriate. That is not fair, and it is not right.” A month later he remained just as adamant: “To change the rules in the Senate can’t be done by a simple majority. It can only be done if there is extended debate by 67 votes.”
In 2008, with Democrats controlling the Senate, Majority Leader Reid was asked if he would ever consider using the nuclear option. He replied: “As long as I’m the leader, the answer is no.”
But in July 2013, Reid indicated that was prepared to exercise the nuclear option for executive branch nominees only, so as to derail Republican filibusters there but not in the judiciary. “We’re not talking about changing the filibuster rules that relates to nominations for judges,” he assured. Republicans, in response, allowed the executive branch nominees to sail through unopposed. But this only emboldened Reid, and the end result was what occurred in November 2013.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz said that Reid’s 2013 maneuver was intended to shift the ideological balance of the DC Circuit Court — which had been “holding the [Obama] administration accountable” and, going forward, would be “the court that will review the lawless behavior of the … administration implementing Obamacare” — by “packing” it with leftist “judges that they believe will be a rubber stamp.”