Former U.S. Senator Harry Reid lies in state in Capitol

Written by on January 12, 2022

January 12, 2022

By Moira Warburton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. lawmakers gathered to honor former U.S. Senator Harry Reid, as his body lay in state in the rotunda of the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, part of a tribute paid to the Democratic majority leader who died on Dec. 28.

The Nevada statesman, who was 82 when he died after a battle with pancreatic cancer, was known as an influential and pugnacious fighter during an era of deepening partisanship in Washington.

Reid helped secure congressional passage of former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law in 2010 over sharp opposition from Republicans. Obama said in his eulogy at Reid’s funeral last week in Las Vegas that he could not have asked for a better friend.

“Without Harry, there would be no Affordable Care Act,” Obama said. “Harry refused to give up.”

Reid’s body arrived in the Capitol on Wednesday morning, and a ceremony took place with leaders of both parties, Vice President Kamala Harris, and members of Reid’s family including his widow and children in attendance.

“Harry was tough as nails, a fighter to his core, but one of the most compassionate individuals you could ever imagine. He was one of the most incredible and generous individuals I’ve ever met,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a speech at the ceremony. “The sort of person you come across only a handful of times in your life.”

Reid’s body will be removed from the rotunda on Wednesday evening. He is the 34th person to receive the honor of lying in state in the Capitol.

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Washington; Editing by Scott Malone, Marguerita Choy and Richard Chang)

Current track