Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell went back and forth on the Senate floor this afternoon over the failure of House Speaker John Boehner’s Plan B bill and the state of negotiations to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.Opening the Senate session, Reid blamed Boehner for “wasting a week” by proposing Plan B, which failed to earn enough Republican support last night to come to a vote.
“We knew the so-called Plan B was no plan at all,” Reid said. “It’s too bad Speaker Boehner wasted a week on this futile, political stunt.”
“Now, House Republicans have gotten the message loud and clear that any comprehensive solution to looming fiscal cliff will need to be a bipartisan solution,” he said, adding that it was “time for the Speaker and all Republicans to return to the negotiating table.”
Reid called on the House to immediately pass the Middle Class Tax Cut Act, which the Senate narrowly passed in July. The bill made permanent all of the Bush-era tax cuts on incomes of less than $250,000 for couples and $200,000 for individuals.
McConnell appeared on the Senate floor after Reid. He placed responsibility on Reid and President Barack Obama for the lack of a deal so far, and slammed Democrats for “popping champ corks about bringing down Plan B.”
Reid countered, saying that McConnell “is struggling to find a way to blame Democrats.”
“To blame us for the travesty that took place over there? That’s incredible,” Reid said.
Reid also took a shot at Boehner:
“I like John Boehner, but gee whiz, this is a pretty big political battering he’s taking,” he said.