“But what we’re not going to do is to once again put off something that should have gotten done several months ago.”
Moments after Obama spoke to reporters, Boehner held his own hastily called press conference. The Ohio Republican castigated Democrats, accusing them of trying to obscure their desire to minimize spending reductions. Democrats “like to insist that $33 billion is their top number and to use smoke and mirrors to get there. That is not acceptable to our Members,” Boehner charged.
Across the Dome, Reid also was on the attack, accusing Republicans of refusing to move from their original demand for $61 billion in cuts.
“Republicans need to stop clinging to a bill that has already been defeated in the Senate. That bill is a non-starter. They have trouble divorcing themselves from that ideologically driven H.R. 1. They’re having a lot of trouble doing that. But we know the bill is awful,” the Nevada Democrat said.
While Boehner’s one-week proposal was getting a cool response from Democratic Party leaders, it was drawing mixed reactions from Democrats and Republicans in both chambers.
Some Senate Democrats appeared open to the bill.
“I personally think that our military men and women fighting two wars for us — and obviously what’s going on in Libya — we cannot not continue paying for this,” Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) said.
Likewise, Sen. Jon Tester, who faces a tough re-election fight next year, did not dismiss Boehner’s latest proposed short-term continuing resolution.
“I think everything needs to be on the table,” the Montana Democrat said.
But other moderate Democrats — including Sen. Ben Nelson, who is also up for re-election next year in conservative-leaning Nebraska, said another short-term spending bill was a non-starter and that they hoped a deal to fund the government through year’s end could be worked out quickly.
“One week is not anything more than kicking the can down the road, and — after that — there will be another one week,” Nelson said.
Sen. Mary Landrieu also said she was “very opposed” to another short-term continuing resolution.
“I think it’s time to get these negotiations over with and done,” the Louisiana Democrat said.
Finance Chairman Max Baucus (Mont.) said Democrats discussed efforts to fund the government at their weekly caucus lunch Tuesday and that — while there was no sense of a clear path forward after the meeting — there was a general frustration that “Republicans seem so unreasonable” in the negotiations.
In the House, the response was equally mixed.
Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan declined to say whether the conservative voting bloc would support Boehner’s one-week short-term spending cut despite the measure’s policy rider that would not allow D.C. to use local money to fund abortions for low-income women.
“We’re looking at it,” the Ohioan said. “Look, we think it’s important to fight for $61 billion in savings. That’s definitely the case for the Republican Study Committee members.”
Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.), a vocal member of the Blue Dog Coalition, said he doesn’t support Boehner’s one-week proposal.