GOP senators are accusing Democrats of holding up the negotiation on a stop-gap spending bill to give the party an edge in the polls.
Striking a deal on a continuing resolution designed to keep the government funded at current spending levels until Dec. 9 has proved to be more problematic than initially anticipated. Language pertaining to funding for Louisiana flood victims and the Flint water crisis continue to be major sticking points on coming to an agreement.
“There has been a lot of back and forth, I don’t think they are in any big hurry to do this because they’d like to keep all our 2016-ers here and not back home campaigning,” Texas Sen. John Cornyn told reporters Wednesday. “So, it’s pretty predictable.”
South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune echoed Cornyn’s sentiments, saying he is still unsure when details on the legislation will be released
“For stuff to happen around here you kind of have to have an alignment of incentives and there is no real incentive for the Democrats to want to get things done right now, so you know, I think eventually we will be able to come together, but it’s a question on timing,” Thune said.
House Democrats said if a the Senate can’t come to a consensus, they are in no way responsible for a government shut down.
“I agree that Republicans need to go home and campaign — there is no doubt they’re in trouble — but it’s hard for the majority that controls both the House and the Senate to lay blame on the minority party that doesn’t control the operations of the Congress,” California Democratic Rep. Xavier Becerra told reporters.”Republicans have only themselves to blame, when the majority controls both chambers in the Congress, if we shut down government it’s their fault, if we come close to it, or even closer than we are today, it’s because the majority hasn’t yet come to terms with what it must do.”
Becerra said his party has been clear they are willing to stick with the terms of last year’s budget agreement, plan to fight for emergency funding for areas struck by natural disasters and refuse to support GOP policy riders futhering their social of political agenda.
New York Democrat Rep. Joe Crowley argued Congress had one of the longest summer recesses in recent history, adding he believes Republicans shoud have scheduled enough time to work out a budget agreement.
“It’s about time the Republicans themselves stay here to do the job they were sent here to do and stop worrying just about getting re-elected — that seems to be what this is all about, that we are somehow trying to stop them from going some so they can get re-elected,” he said. “If they do their job, and they do it well, the American people will reward them for it, if not they won’t.”
GOP lawmakers said the notion their party would be responsible for a shutdown is ridiculous, noting Democrats have rejected their proposals.
“That’s ludicrous,” Cornyn told The Daily Caller News Foundation, adding he’s confident they will work it out before the Sept. 30 deadline.
With the clock ticking for the Senate to come to a compromise, some have floated the idea of having the House move first on a CR.
Cornyn said the prospect if the lower chamber acting on a stop-gap measure before the Senate is highly unlikely.
“If we thought they could initiate something we would have encouraged them to do that and then we’d take it up,” he said. “I think the best strategy is for us to send them something and have them pass it next week.”
The Senate passed a procedural vote to move on the nonexistent legislation Tuesday.
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