Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 30, 2015

Reid Slams New House GOP Debt Limit Offer

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Tuesday he was “blindsided” by news that House Republicans were moving forward on their own debt limit bill and “disappointed” in Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, for doing so.

Reid said on the floor that the new House GOP plan — which includes a number of Obamacare-related provisions and omits instructions for a budget conference — is “unproductive” and “a waste of time,” suggesting its only purpose was to cater to tea party conservatives and preserve Boehner’s speakership.

“I know I speak for many of us who have been working in good faith when I say that we felt blindsided by the news from the House, but this isn’t the first time. Extremist Republicans in the House of Representatives are attempting to torpedo the Senate’s bipartisan progress with a will that can’t pass the Senate … and won’t pass the Senate,” Reid said. “I am very disappointed with John Boehner, who would once again try to preserve his role at the expense of the country. I have worked hard to rise above partisanship, to find common ground in the Senate.”

Reid singled out a provision in the Senate-brokered bill to require a budget conference to produce a framework before Christmas. He called that a sign that senators are serious about tackling the larger fiscal issues that members of the House are not.

House Republicans had demanded a conference on a short-term continuing resolution as part of their post-shutdown strategy, but 15 days into a shutdown and two days before a default deadline, they apparently have little appetite for a larger bipartisan, bicameral negotiating group.

“For weeks, Republicans have claimed they want to negotiate, but their legislation completely ignores the need to work together to craft a budget and put our country on a fiscally sustainable path,” Reid said.

Reid’s comments were in line with sharp criticism from the White House, which released a strongly worded statement moments before Reid took the floor.

“The President has said repeatedly that Members of Congress don’t get to demand ransom for fulfilling their basic responsibilities to pass a budget and pay the nation’s bills. Unfortunately, the latest proposal from House Republicans does just that in a partisan attempt to appease a small group of Tea Party Republicans who forced the government shutdown in the first place,” said White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage. “Democrats and Republicans in the Senate have been working in a bipartisan, good-faith effort to end the manufactured crises that have already harmed American families and business owners. With only a couple days remaining until the United States exhausts its borrowing authority, it’s time for the House to do the same.”

There is one silver lining to the House bill, if Boehner can pass it: It would come over to the Senate requiring one fewer procedural vote, expediting a process that already is pushing to the limit of the Treasury’s deadline in a chamber where members and aides fear a single senator (such Ted Cruz, R-Texas) could block a time agreement.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, told CQ Roll Call on Monday that he had not yet made a decision on whether he would block such a move by leaders, thereby forcing the Senate to eat hours of clock as time ticks away.

  • WeCometoThis

    It’s time to start lynching Tea Partiers and some Republicans. If we default on our Debt, and other obligations to Americans (Benefits), then why not let us be taken over by another Government. Mexico has their people already in place. over 20 million of them here Illegally. And cruz is their Leader.

    • Carolyn Hausburg

      Oh please, the treasury takes in 220b+ each month and the interest on the debt is 20b – if we default it will only be because of Obama’s arrogance, small kid tantrum. Quit your whining and grow up, our debt is unsustainable – Cruz and Lee are the only ones with cajones to tell the truth and quit this game playing… Time to STOP our own…

      • WeCometoThis

        so I take it, you wanted your way even while growing up as a child. You sound as if you did. This Administration has been kissing the Republican and now a Tea Party behind all along. He’s given in to their and your sh—, for a long time. So understand hearing NO for a change.

  • MrSmith

    I take it he prefers his bill…
    The media that chortled about Harry and Obama stiffing the House in negotiations will now turn around and treat this partisan tirade as the gospel truth.
    What a cushy job Harry has. He gets “No Negotiations” headlines for weeks, then “Mr Bipartisan” headlines.

  • Shootist

    Someone really needs to speak truth to power and tell Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev that he has never negotiated anything in good faith.

    And two, that he is a pawn of the Las Vegas mob. If he objects ask him, “where did your wealth come from” and to allow an audit of the last 20 years.

    • ThisIsNot4U2

      What’s the difference between the Las Vegas mob and the Tea(bagging) Party mob???

      • Shootist

        Filthy little twit, aren’t you?

        My theory is that politics corrupts and Washington corrupts absolutely. It just happen that Harry Reid come from a humble background and has never worked a day in his life. Yet, mysteriously, he is a multimillionaire. Much like Bill Clinton who came to the Presidency having never earned more than $35,000 a year. But eight years later had a net worth in excess of $10 million dollars.

        But if you can point out a Tea Party politician who has humble origins, has never worked a day in his life but has magically become a multimillionaire, I’d be happy to hear it.

        • ThisIsNot4U2

          @Shootist…You are HILARIOUS…*snarkasm*…
          You want to talk about taxes and auditing?!?!?! What about Mittens and the fact that he was more than willing to throw away the election all to protect whatever he was hiding in his tax returns?…..

          • Shootist

            Indeed. Politicians R corrupt. See first paragraph above. As far as mittens is concerned however, he was richrich before he because a politician and he was as far removed from the Taxed Enough Already Party as any progressive.

  • Unc Remus

    Choke on your Bile Reid…Choke on it!

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