Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid should do the job he was elected to do and quit lecturing Republicans, says former Florida GOP Rep. Joe Scarborough.
"Harry Reid should really be quiet and go back and do the job that he was hired to do, and, at least, pass one appropriation bill. And then come out lecturing us," Scarborough, the host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," said on his program Tuesday.
"I hear Harry Reid lecturing [House Speaker] John Boehner every day about getting things done. And Harry Reid's Senate that Harry Reid runs, first of all, went four or five years without passing a budget. And this year, with a Democratic president and Democratic chairman and chairwomen, has passed a grand total of zero appropriation bills," Scarborough said.
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In an interview with Esquire magazine
on Monday, Reid called the Republican strategy of tying efforts to kill Obamacare to a stopgap spending bill to keep government running "insanity." The Democratic leader also told USA Today Monday
that "never in the history of this country has there been a time when members of Congress say, 'Do what I want or I'm not going to fund the government.'"
Scarborough, who served in Congress from 1995 to 2001, took issue with what he called the Senate's inability to pass a budget in the past four years. That failure, he said, created the need for stopgap spending measures known as continuing resolutions (CR) to keep the government funded.
"They have passed zero appropriations bills. They don't even have to pretend to try to legislate anymore," Scarborough said.
"A CR, though, is a failure in and of itself. That means that you weren't able to get regular order. That means that you couldn't run your institution, the U.S. Senate or the U.S. House, without going through the regular process," he added.
Scarborough maintained that Republicans are not blameless. In fact he has doled out some harsh criticism of Boehner for buckling under pressure from tea party members bent on defunding or repealing Obamacare at any cost. But he said Monday the debate reaches beyond Obamacare to the basic function of elected officials in government.
"My point is not that the Republicans are saints, and I've never said they are," the former congressman turned commentator said. "This has nothing to do with Obamacare. This has to do with passing a budget, passing appropriation bills, and doing what you're elected to do."
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