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Former Sen. Harry Reid in February 2020 in Las Vegas on the first day of early voting in the 2020 primaries. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was hailed Tuesday for his "honesty" by former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) — who praised his old political rival for being "a fighter until the end."

The big picture: Boehner's tribute to his friend was one of many from past and present officeholders of both parties, including President Biden and former President Obama, following Reid's death on Tuesday at age 82.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
What they're saying:

Biden said in a statement that Reid was one of the "all-time great Senate Majority Leaders," who "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."

Obama released a letter he sent Reid after learning of his health situation in which he praised Reid for his "great" leadership in the Senate. "I wouldn’t have been president had it not been for your encouragement and support, and I wouldn’t have got most of what I got done without your skill and determination," Obama said.

Vice President Kamala Harris noted in a statement that Reid "never forgot his humble beginnings in Searchlight, Nevada — and he always fought for working families and the poor." Whenever they spoke, he was "kind, generous, and always to the point," Harris said. "Our country has lost an honorable public servant."

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) released a statement saying, "He was tough-as-nails strong, but caring and compassionate. ... He's gone but he will walk by the sides of many of us in the Senate every single day."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) noted in a statement that the "runway that brought Harry to the upper chamber was nothing short of amazing."

  • "His life's journey began in a house that lacked running water. It took him all the way from amateur boxing and a stint with the U.S. Capitol Police to eventually becoming one of the most senior leaders whom that force protected," he added.
"You could hardly invent a more quintessentially American story, and it took Harry's legendary toughness, bluntness, and tenacity to make it happen."
— Sen. Mitch McConnell

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) described Reid in a statement as a "titan of public service," who "leaves behind an extraordinary legacy of patriotism and leadership that will benefit the Congress and Country for decades to come."

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg tweeted, "Harry Reid was one of a kind. He was extraordinarily effective and indefatigable in his work to make life better for all Americans — and a generous source of advice and encouragement to me and countless others."

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) said in a statement, "To say Harry Reid was a giant doesn't fully encapsulate all that he accomplished on behalf of the state of Nevada and for Nevada families; there will never be another leader quite like Senator Reid."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) described Reid in a Twitter post as a "fighter who knows how to win." "Harry never wavered in his commitment to do what's right — especially for the people of Nevada," she said. "He led the Senate with courage and conviction, fighting every day for a more just America."

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) issued a statement saying, "From his time as my family's home teacher and father of one of my dear friends, to when we were colleagues in the Senate, Senator Harry Reid was a kind, caring friend."

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) paid tribute to Reid's service to Nevada in a tweet Tuesday:

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

House Democrats to combine 2 key bills in push for voting rights

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a December news conference in Washington, D.C. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democrats the House Rules Committee was meeting Wednesday night to combine key provisions of two voting bills and pass the rule before sending it to the Senate for a vote.

Why it matters: Pelosi's announcement in a letter to Democrats comes a day after President Biden called for a change to the Senate's filibuster rules in an effort to pass voting rights legislation.

Dem Senate candidates rally against “sellout” Sinema

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema enters the Democratic caucus meeting on Thursday with President Biden. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate are now explicitly campaigning against one of their potential colleagues, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) — branded by one as a "sellout" for opposing filibuster changes to enact party priorities.

Why it matters: It's an evolution of an increasingly popular strategy among Democrats: turning legislative inaction to their advantage by casting themselves as the "50th vote" for programs or the filibuster changes needed to pass President Biden's agenda.

Obama: We must "vigilantly preserve and protect" the right to vote

Former President Obama speaks at the COP26 summit on Nov. 8, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo: Ian Forsyth via Getty Images

Former President Obama threw his support behind changing the filibuster on Wednesday in an op-ed that emphasized the need to "vigilantly preserve and protect" the right to vote.

Why it matters: The move comes a day after President Biden publicly backed rule changes to the filibuster this week to ensure the Senate passes Democrats' voting rights legislation.

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