“It is clear that because Senator Reid refuses to make any spending cuts, he instead plans to force a massive future tax hike on families and small business people. In the scope of our debt crisis, if Senator Reid and Sen. Schumer force the government to partially shut down over these sensible spending cuts, Americans will hold them accountable,” Cantor said in a statement.
There was also dispute brewing behind the scenes over which side — and who — was doing more to undermine the talks.
Democrats targeted the tea party movement for keeping GOP leaders on the negotiating sidelines, while Republicans argued that Senate Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.) undermined the talks by making what they charged were inflammatory and counterproductive statements about the GOP’s role.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.