The PJ Tatler

Reid: Tea Party 'Anarchists' Trying to Pull a Thelma & Louise

From Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.):

Reid placed the House version of the continuing resolution that defunds Obamacare on the Senate calendar this afternoon and began debate. The first procedural vote could come late Tuesday morning.

Reid speaking on the floor today:

The radical Tea Party plan to shut down the government unless Democrats agree to deny funding to implement Obamacare – passed by the House of Representatives on Friday – has been called “the dumbest idea ever.” It’s been called a “box canyon” – a morass from which Republicans will not escape unscathed. It’s been called “dishonest.” It’s been called a “suicide note.” And that’s just by Republicans in United States Senate.

…The Affordable Care Act has been the law of the land for four years. Democrats are willing to work with reasonable Republicans to improve this law. But we will not bow to Tea Party anarchists who deny the mere fact that Obamacare is the law. We will not bow to Tea Party anarchists who refuse to accept that the Supreme Court ruled Obamacare to be constitutional. And we will not bow to Tea Party anarchists in the House and the Senate who ignore the fact that President Obama was overwhelmingly reelected in November.

…Two dozen Senate Republicans have spoken out against this foolhardy plan to drive the economy off a cliff, Thelma and Louise style, if Democrats do not bow to their every demand. I am glad to see more and more of my moderate Republican colleagues stepping up to speak sense to extremist elements of their party. They are wise enough to know that risking the nation’s economic recovery for the sake of a Pyrrhic ideological victory would be a death knell for the Republican Party.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said this morning that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was trying to get out of the standoff.

“I think it’s very likely we will avoid a shut down. It’s becoming clearer and clearer that Ted Cruz has climbed out on a limb, and now it’s getting sawed off. And he’s just trying to figure out a graceful way out of it,” he said. “The vast majority of people and most Republicans really thought this was a bad strategy, but it was pushed by a very powerful, small hard right group, and I think it got too far ahead of them.”

“We can only do what the majority of the House Republicans will send us. Obviously, that’s the amount of time that they chose. That’s the one place where Cruz and his small little band have some weight as to how quickly this can happen. They can use procedural delays. They can’t stop it as long as there are Republicans who don’t go along with him. And there are many who think this is a bad idea,” Schumer added.