A memorial service for former Senate Majority Leaderis taking place in Las Vegas Saturday, and top lawmakers and two presidents are attending. Reid died last month at 82.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will be in attendance, and former President Barack Obama will deliver the eulogy. Mr. Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will also speak.
Reid died after a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer, his family said. He was married to his wife, Landra Gould, for 62 years.
The Nevada lawmaker served in Congress for more than four decades in the House and Senate, rising to become one of the most powerful Democrats in Senate history. He was an avid dealmaker — in 2003, he persuaded Republican Senator Jim Jeffords to switch parties and become a Democrat, giving Democrats the majority in the Senate.
He is known for, among other things, gathering enough votes for the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010.
In 2013, Reid eliminated the use of the filibuster — the requirement for 60 votes in the Senate — to confirm presidential nominees, except for Supreme Court justices. Republicans had been blocking then-President Obama’s appointees. Reid told The New York Times he “had no choice” but to invoke what was known as the “nuclear option,” but it was a decision that cost Democrats when they lost the Senate majority in 2014. Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expanded the nuclear option to extend to Supreme Court justices and used it to confirm three conservative justices nominated by President Donald Trump, creating a 6-3 conservative majority on the high court.
After the service, Reid will be moved to Washington, D.C., to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda on January 12.