Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Republicans had failed to show they are willing to compromise or offer any ideas for reaching a long-term solution. “If no budget passes and we cannot keep this country running, it will be clear which side will bear that burden,” the Nevada Democrat said.
And Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.) blamed the far right for blocking a longer-term deal and urged Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to abandon the tea party. “In order to avert a shutdown, Speaker Boehner should consider leaving the tea party behind and instead seek a consensus in the House among moderate Republicans and a group of Democrats,” he said.
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel responded by accusing Schumer of “cynically scheming for a government shutdown because he thinks it will help his political party.”
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.