WASHINGTON — Despite refusing numerous Republican offers of compromise over the past several weeks, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid now claims that his insistence on that government spending remains the same represents “the biggest compromise” he has ever made.
Reid has repeatedly declared that the only way to end the government shutdown is for the House to pass the Senate’s funding bill, which funds the government at sequester levels for the next two months. Republicans have offered amendments to that bill, and want to resolve the differences between the two parties with a conference committee.
Reid has refused those proposals, and the Senate has each time sent back the same “clean” funding bill, which continues to run the government at sequester levels, to the House.
Republicans have accused Reid of being intransigent and of refusing to negotiate.
“By refusing to negotiate, Harry Reid and the president are putting our country on a pretty dangerous path,” Boehner said Tuesday.
But Reid says that by agreeing to funding the government at sequester levels, which he says is $70 billion less than he would like to use to fund the government, is a huge compromise in and of itself.
“It’s the biggest compromise I ever made in my career as a member of congress of some 31 years,” Reid said. “It may not sound like much to some people, but it was really big. And my caucus remembers what I asked them to do. So for someone to suggest to any of my Senators that we haven’t negotiated is simply unfair. And to say that we won’t negotiate is unfair!”
Reid has said Democrats are willing to negotiate on anything Republicans want, but only after they pass the Senate’s funding bill and re-open the government.