Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday rejected yet another GOP proposal for a short-term extension of tax cuts and unemployment insurance benefits, and questioned Republicans fresh commitment to fiscal restraint.Shortly after the Senate came into session Monday afternoon, the Nevada Democrat objected to a proposed unanimous consent agreement by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) for a fully paid for, 30-day extension to unemployment insurance benefits and a set of popular tax breaks.In rejecting the GOP proposal, Reid argued that Republicans are largely responsible for the national debt crisis. He blamed the partys spending during the Bush administration.Im very amazed at the logic of my friends on the other side of the aisle [who] suddenly see fiscal austerity ... as the way to go when the wild spending went for eight years without a word having been spoken, Reid said.McConnell rejected those charges and accused Reid and other Democrats of being out of touch.Our friends on the other side still dont see to get it. Theyre twisting and turning not to cut the debt, but to borrow as much as they can with the minimum votes to pass this bill. The best part of all is their justification you guessed it. They want to blame President [George W.] Bush for their own unwillingness to pay for the bill. They say that theyre immune from increasing it themselves, McConnell said.Well, Ive got some news for our friends on the other side. Nobodys buying that anymore, he added.
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.