The war of words between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., intensified Tuesday as Reid accused Ryan and House Republicans of dragging their feet when it comes to creating a House-Senate conference committee on the budget, the Hill reports.
Ryan said a “framework” would need to be in place before he would be involved in the formation of any conference, which is the next step under regular order in bringing together the different House and Senate budget resolutions.
“We want to go to conference when we feel we have a realistic chance of getting an agreement,” Ryan said after a hearing.
“We don’t want to conference when we have an endless process that focuses on our differences.”
When asked to define exactly what a “framework” would consist of, Ryan said that remains to be seen.
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“This is what we have to discover and explore,” he said.
“What we want to do is have constructive dialogues to find out where the common ground is and go to conference when we have a realistic chance of coming out with an agreement.”
Reid’s response to Ryan’s comments showcased his exasperation with the situation.
“Chairman Ryan said ‘we want to have a pre-conference.’ Well you can’t have it both ways. Does he want regular order? Obviously not,” said Reid.
“We have had Republicans yelling and screaming, sometimes violently, to have regular order,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of Senate Democrats, Reid said, “they’re not interested in regular order” since approving their first budget in four years.
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