‘From Searchlight to the spotlight of Capitol Hill’: Lawmakers honor Sen. Harry Reid with lying in state ceremony

Lawmakers said farewell to the late senator, who passed away at age 82 and served for 34 years in Washington.
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 4:06 PM EST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - A solemn final send off for Sen. Harry Reid took place on Capitol Hill Wednesday. Lawmakers gathered to pay tribute to the late senator who passed away at 82 in late December after 34 years of service in Washington. Congress held a lying in state ceremony for Reid, giving lawmakers and staff the chance to pay respects to a man who roamed both chambers of Congress for more than three decades.

Reid’s family and friends were also on hand as the former Senate giant entered his workplace one last time.

“From his humble roots in Searchlight, to the spotlight of Capitol Hill, his entire life was defined by defying long odds,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

It was a trimmed down ceremony as Covid continues to rage nationwide. Speaker Pelosi remembered the man whose Congressional career began in the House in 1983 before he moved to the Senate where he reigned for decades. He made his legislative mark pushing through landmark bills like the Affordable Care Act.

“We celebrate Harry Mason Reid’s final return to the Capitol because we must. Few have shaped the workings of this building like our dear friend from Nevada. Few have dedicated their lives to the work of the people quite like Harry did,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)

Schumer took over as leader of the Democrats when Reid retired in 2017. Reid’s Senate replacement Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) said a lying in state is a fitting tribute for the Nevada legend.

“I was always able to rely on Senator Reid. He always had great advice,” said Cortez Masto.

She said Reid’s support always came at the right time, and that filling the office he once held is an honor.

“He was focused on so many issues for the state of Nevada. And that was always his concern - what is the best interest for the people of our state?” said Cortez Masto.

Nevada’s other Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) said Reid’s impact on their state and the nation will be felt for a long time.

“He was known for being a master negotiator and he was known for being a kind and considerate person. And I think in today’s world it’s rare to find both,” said Rosen.

Reid’s casket remained on display in the Capitol Rotunda throughout the day Wednesday for members and staff not involved in the ceremony to pay their respects. The casket departed the Rotunda late this afternoon.

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