January 22, 2022

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Scoop: Reid to lie in state week of Jan. 10 – Axios

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Congressional leaders and the family of late Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) are finalizing details to have the former majority leader lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda during the week of Jan. 10, a person familiar with the matter tells Axios.

Why it matters: The honor is accorded to Americans who’ve served their country in an official capacity. Just weeks ago, it was conferred on another Senate majority leader, the late Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.).

  • It serves as a formal opportunity for Washington — including members of Congress and often the sitting president — to pay their respects to the deceased.
  • It also allows reflection on his or her life and the policy changes they ushered into law.

Driving the news: Reid, 82, died on Dec. 28.

  • His death followed “a courageous, four-year battle with pancreatic cancer,” his wife, Landra Reid, announced.
  • Barack Obama credited Reid with encouraging him to run for president, as well as passing his signature Affordable Care Act.

The big picture: Both chambers of Congress need to agree to a joint resolution to accord the honor, as well as work with military officials on some of the logistics.

  • Aides to top Senate and House leaders did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
  • The last president to lie in state in the Rotunda was George Herbert Walker Bush. He did so in December 2018.
  • In 2020, former associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lay in state in Statuary Hall, between the Rotunda and House floor.

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to note that George H.W. Bush was the last president to lie in state, not Gerald R. Ford.

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