Politics

Reid slams Boehner for stalling on fiscal cliff deal

Photo of Alexis Levinson
Alexis Levinson
Political Reporter

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s chamber has nothing to do, and it’s John Boehner’s fault.

The Nevada senator slammed the Speaker of the House on Thursday for neither passing a fiscal cliff deal nor a middle class tax cut, saying that not only was he holding the middle class “hostage,” but he was keeping the Senate from doing work to help the middle class in other ways.

Reid said during a weekly scheduled press conference that Boehner was stalling by holding press conference after press conference of his own, and by adjourning the House for the weekend.

“There are many other pieces of business, critical to middle class families that we could be working on if he resolved the fiscal cliff, and … instead of getting things done, we’re forced to wait and wait and wait for the press conferences the Speaker’s holding, hoping that, finally, reality will set in,” Reid said. “It hasn’t yet.”

“He just finished another one just a short time ago,” Reid added. “At each one of these press conferences he holds, he’s ignoring the voice of the American people.”

“We have nothing to do until they do something,” Reid said. “Nothing to do with these other issues ’cause we’re waiting for them to do something that will help the middle class.”

Reid expressed incredulity that the House would adjourn for the week with such business still pending.

“Now I understand the House is gone. … I think that one reason they’re asking them to leave is so that more Republicans walking down the hall won’t say ‘I think what he’s doing is wrong.’ So they’re leaving. Hard to comprehend, but they are,” Reid said.

Reid cited a Pew Research Center poll released Thursday that found 69 percent of Americans had a favorable opinion of increasing taxes on those earning more than $250,000 per year. He said those numbers will put more pressure on Boehner to either relent on President Obama’s proposed tax hikes and get a fiscal cliff deal passed, or pass a Senate-approved bill that extended the Bush-era tax cuts for Americans earning less than $250,000 — leaving the rest to deal with later.

“The American people shouldn’t have to have their tax cuts held hostage to these never-ending press conferences that he’s holding and his self interest,” Reid said of the House speaker. “It’s time we put the middle class first.”

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