Near the end of a frantic, back-and-forth day pertaining to fiscal cliff negotiations, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor today that he was “a little frustrated” with the state of fiscal cliff negotiations.”Republicans have bent over backwards. We stepped way, way out of our comfort zone,” McConnell said. He charged Democrats with trying to deflect attention to the GOP because “they don’t have a plan of their own that could get bipartisan support.”
In rebuttal, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid predictably disagreed. Reid said that President Barack Obama had already put forward a bipartisan plan, but that “Grover [Norquist] and the boys” had prevented it.
“The Republican leader finds himself frustrated that the President has called on him to help address the fiscal cliff,” Reid said.
“Mr. President, you can’t legislate with yourself,” he said, adding that “the Republicans in the House have left town.”
“I’m not sure my distinguished Republican counterpart has followed” what has happened in the House, Reid added of McConnell, referring to Boehner’s failed “Plan B” as the “debacle of all debacles — the mother of all debacles.”
McConnell said he told Obama last night that he would be happy to “look at” whatever proposal he has in mind.
“We’ll see what the president has to propose. … Hopefully there is time for an agreement of some kind,” McConnell said.
McConnell’s floor speech and Reid’s rebuttal come near the end of a wild day that has led to numerous spikes and tumbles in markets.
Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown wrote on his Facebook page that President Barack Obama reached out and provided Senate Republicans with another offer to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. Democratic aides denied that report.
Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner called the House back to reconvene on Sunday.