WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid held his first “Twitter Town Hall” on Wednesday, answering tweeted questions via the popular micro-blogging and networking service.
The 71-year-old Nevada Democrat appeared live online answering selected questions posted in Twitter’s standard 140-character-or-less format. Aide Darrel Thompson read questions to Reid, and the senator answered in turn. At the same time, other Reid staffers would “tweet” his responses in a scroll accompanying the webcast.
While using the new technology, Reid’s messages were familiar. Over the course of about 20 minutes, he touted green energy and small-business initiatives that have helped some Nevada companies hire. Thompson punctuated most of Reid’s responses with a cheery “fantastic.”
Reid also took the opportunity to slam Republicans for stalling some legislative efforts, including a temporary extension of federal aviation, highway and transit programs that is being held up by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. Reid didn’t mention Coburn by name but noted the bill was being blocked over federal money spent on bicycle paths.
Reid didn’t respond to several tweets sent by House Republicans — including Speaker John Boehner of Ohio — who wondered when the Senate would vote on 11 bills the House has passed that Republicans have touted as job creators.
Among the tweets that Reid answered was one from Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., who said he was concerned that Congress may not approve additional funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to handle the high number of natural disasters that occurred this year.
“We have people who are hurting,” Reid said. “I say to my friend Senator Rockefeller we are going to get this done.
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Video of the town hall