Obviously stung by the defeat of a transportation spending bill in the Senate Thursday, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., compared attempting to cut a bipartisan deal with Republicans to being on either side of the table at Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, reports Politico.
“At times working with the other side feels like the Middle East peace process — there’s no one to negotiate with,” Schumer said. “What we’re seeing in both houses is a death dance.
The Republican Party on fiscal issues is falling apart before our very eyes.”
Just one Republican, Maine Sen. Susan Collins, voted for the bill after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., circled the wagons and made sure his members would oppose the bill due to concerns about spending.
Democrats were outraged, railing for 25 minutes against the Republicans who opposed the bill.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., tore into McConnell, claiming he is constantly checking to see where he stands in the eyes of conservatives and Congress, which pulled its own transportation spending bill on Thursday.
“Looking over his shoulder for Rand Paul, the Libertarians, the most extreme conservatives in the Republican Party,” Durbin said. “He was looking over his shoulder to find where John Boehner was standing.
And John Boehner was looking to see where the tea party was standing.
That’s the problem with this Republican Party.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., chastised the GOP as well.
“I don’t know what more the Republicans can do to tarnish their brand,” Reid said, after the bill went down to defeat.
McConnell explained his stance against the spending bill as simply a desire to adhere to the Budget Control Act’s spending levels, describing Democrats as “spending the entire year to get us to walk away from spending reductions we committed to.”
“Unless you tax, and unless you spend, they don’t have much interest,” McConnell said.
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