Harry Reid Predicts Democrats Will Keep Senate

Albert R. Hunt is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the executive editor of Bloomberg News, before which he was a reporter, bureau chief and executive Washington editor at the Wall Street Journal.
Read More.
a | A

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he was certain that Democrats would maintain control of the chamber in next year's elections, though he added that his Republican counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, might not be back in 2015.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television, the Nevada Democrat said he wouldn't campaign against McConnell, in keeping with the usual Senate customs. Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Democrat who is running for the Senate seat, is tied in the polls with McConnell, who also faces a primary battle.

Reid predicted that Janet Yellen, the vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, would be confirmed as chairman by the Senate sometime next week. He said he knew nothing about White House plans to tap former Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer to replace Yellen in the No. 2 Fed spot. The senator also expressed confidence that a budget deal would clear the chamber before Christmas. He said that there were enough Democratic votes to pass the legislation and that it would be "suicidal" for Republicans to block it.

Reid said he was working with the Obama administration, especially Secretary of State John Kerry, as well as congressional critics of a recent interim agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, to fashion a new resolution or legislation that keeps pressure on Iran without impeding the negotiations.

Reid added that he was ecstatic about the White House's decision to bring in John Podesta, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, as an adviser, and to tap a former top Senate Democratic aide, Katie Beirne Fallon, as White House legislative affairs director. The moves, he said, should improve President Barack Obama's relationship with Congress.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

To contact the author on this story:
Albert R Hunt at ahunt1@bloomberg.net