House Majority Leader Eric Cantor refused to answer specific questions on the work of the super committee during his weekly press conference but said his experience working on a debt limit deal with Vice President Joseph Biden gave him sympathy for the negotiators.
Republicans argue they have built a public record of attempting to take the super committee seriously, and Schumer’s comments have shifted the onus onto Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) to demonstrate support.
“With Schumer out there talking it down ... it really comes down to Reid,” a House Republican said.
Democrats — who also have shown no signs yet of walking away from the talks — dismissed the strategy.
“Serious legislators do not walk away from tough negotiations, and we hope Republicans have learned that painful lesson after the famous walk out by Leader Cantor and the double walkout by Speaker Boehner,” a House Democratic aide said Monday, referencing previous times this year when Republicans walked away from bipartisan attempts to solve the deficit problem.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., carries a musket on stage as he speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Thursday March 6, 2014.