President Obama on Monday blamed the looming shutdown on “one faction of one party,” but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid puts the onus on just one man.
House Speaker John Boehner is in a tough spot. The tea party wing of his caucus nearly got him fired, and it’s proving to be a rowdy bunch, deeply committed to defunding the Affordable Care Act at any cost. Nonetheless, Boehner could outmaneuver those rebellious Republicans with a reach across the aisle.
Here’s what Reid had to say, as quoted by The New York Times:
“You know with a bully you cannot let them slap you around because they slap you around today, they slap you five or six times tomorrow,” Mr. Reid, a former boxer, continued. “We are not going to be bullied.”
In addition to criticizing Mr. Boehner in harsh terms, Mr. Reid excoriated what he called the “banana Republican mindset” of the House. He called on the speaker to put the Senate bill up for a vote, which would almost certainly pass in the House because of overwhelming Democratic support and backing from moderate Republicans.
“I have a very simple message to John Boehner: Let the House vote. Stop trying to force a government shutdown,” he said.
The House has passed measures to fund the government while defunding Obamacare or delaying the individual mandate for a year. The Senate rejected both of those options. Obama has said he would negotiate the implementation of the national health care plan, but not while holding the national budget hostage.
(Jump to the 29th minute in the video below to see the president’s comments on the matter).
—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer
Photo by Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)