Reid Blames Boehner for Fiscal Cliff Impasse

Senate Majority Leader accuses House Speaker of playing politics with debt deal

   

NewLetters Reid Blames Boehner for Fiscal Cliff ImpasseWith Congress running out of time to cut a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has run out of patience.

After House Speaker John Boehner, R-Oh., failed to reach a deal for his “Plan B” bill in the House, Reid has accused Boehner of sacrificing a debt deal in order to keep his position as House Speaker.

While speaking with reporters today, Reid pulled no punches when talking about Boehner.

“The American people I don’t think understand the House of Representatives is operating without the House of Representatives. It’s being operated by a dictatorship of the speaker, not allowing the vast majority of the House of Representatives to get what they want.”

Reid claimed that if the White House-approved plan, which would raise taxes on those making more than $250,000, were put to a vote, it would pass. He accused Boehner of waiting until his speakership was secure before bringing up a vote on Jan. 3.

Boehner’s spokesman responded to Reid’s accusations by pointing out that there was already a budget deal passed by the House that the Senate had not yet voted on, and that the Senate had yet to pass legislation that would avoid the fiscal cliff.

Reid expressed pessimism that a deal would be reached in time to avoid the mandatory tax increases and spending cuts the fiscal cliff entails. “Time-wise, I don’t know how it can happen here.”

He also lobbed criticism at members of Congress who were still on vacation while the crisis still loomed. Obama, returning from his vacation today, called Reid, Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, R-Calif., to push for a deal.

The House of Representatives will meet Sunday evening for legislative business, so there is a small chance a last-minute agreement might be reached. In all likelihood, though, it will take a miracle to avoid going over the edge.

– Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPolitics Editor

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.

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