Reid is widely regarded as the most powerful and influential politician from Nevada, transforming the Republican state into a Democratic stronghold that has been blue in every presidential election since 2004.
“Without Harry, there would be no Affordable Care Act,” Obama said, acknowledging Reid’s family grew up without health insurance.
“When Harry put everything he had into passing the ACA, he didn’t do it to furnish his own legacy,” he said. “He did it for the people back home, and families like his who needed someone looking out for them. Nobody else was.”
The former president also remembered Reid as a fighter, both in his political career and as an amateur boxer.
“Hardship had forged a steel in Harry,” Obama said. “He inherited a fighting spirit that explained his success in the boxing ring, despite being significantly undersized.”
The two party leaders made a “a darn good team,” Obama said. “I could not have asked for a better, truer friend,” he added.
Biden spoke to Reid’s loyalty, devotion and dedication as a public service, as he served with Reid during his time in the Senate and worked with him as vice president.
Biden said the two were “genuine friends,” despite their differences in background and religion.
“Harry would always have your back … Harry had mine, and he knew I had his,” Biden said.
Biden said that Reid “led the Democratic caucus not just by speaking but by listening,” and touted his sense of duty rather than a desire to be the center of attention.
“He was proof that there’s nothing ordinary about America,” Biden said. “He’s proof that ordinary Americans can be anything given half a chance.”
“Let there be no doubt,” Biden added. “Harry Reid will be considered one of the greatest Senate majority leaders in United States history.”
Schumer called Reid his friend and mentor in the Senate, saying the former majority leader was “one of a kind,” and spoke to his generosity and friendship.
“He was tough as nails, a fighter to his core, but also one of the most compassionate individuals you could ever imagine.”
In her remarks, Pelosi said Reid was a “towering titan of public…