WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) issued the following statement on the death of former Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid:

“I will miss Harry Reid dearly and my prayers are with Landra and his family tonight. 

“Sometimes people only get a one-dimensional view of political leaders via news coverage and political ads. But Harry Reid was so much more than a thirty second political ad. 

“When I first got to the Senate, a little Minnesota girl named Abbey Taylor was maimed in a swimming pool by a defective drain and, after sixteen surgeries, died nearly a year later. Her one wish was that it wouldn't happen to another child. With her family's urging, working with a number of senators we passed a pool safety bill out of committee. It was stopped on the floor. Leader Harry Reid was the one who worked with Republicans to help me get it passed. I put him on the phone with Abbey's dad the day we got the bill done. He took the time to talk to Scott Taylor. The bill has made a difference and saved kids' lives.

“Once when I was trying to pass another bill to build a bridge to Wisconsin it was Harry Reid who took my place presiding over the Senate on a Saturday so I could call one last senator who was getting on a plane and holding up the bill. Harry's wife Landra was in cancer treatment at the time but he insisted on sitting up there (a job normally reserved for freshmen senators) so I could make those calls to get it done. A few weeks later we passed the bill.

“One day when I was walking a boy with Make-A-Wish around the Capitol we stopped in Harry Reid's lobby so I could show the thirteen-year-old all the paintings he had up in his office of the Presidents. Harry Reid stopped and met the boy and showed him his favorite things – a letter from John F. Kennedy and a picture Barack Obama had signed for Harry of a little African American boy who asked the President if he could feel his hair and after he did he said it felt just like his. Harry was so proud of that picture.

“Harry Reid got so much done for our country since he first came to work in Congress as a police officer in the halls of the Capitol. But one thing stayed the same – Harry Reid. People always said he was tough and curmudgeonly and a person who didn’t mince words. That is true. But there was another side to the man – it was the person who took the time to talk to a little boy with leukemia and show him his favorite photos right in the middle of the budget debate; it was the leader who sat up at the presiding desk just to help a freshman pass a bill that was of little consequence to the national battles of the day; and was the senator who never forgot that he came from Searchlight, Nevada.”

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