From left: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Speaker John Boehner and Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling hold a news conference Tuesday as negotiations continue with the White House on a spending package.
“Knowing that a bipartisan deal is within reach to cut tens of billions of dollars from current funding levels, it would be irresponsible to shut down the government and punish our constituents solely to assert a political point,” the group of Senators, led by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), wrote in a letter to Boehner.
Not to be outdone, House Republicans also remained on the defensive.
Ninety GOP Members signed a letter authored by Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.) calling for Reid to step down and lambasting his efforts to pass spending bills.
Reid “failed to pass one single appropriations bill to fund even a single federal agency, but yet you somehow muster the nerve to say Republicans are the problem. The ball is in your court to pass a long-term spending resolution for the remainder of FY 2011,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter.
“With all due respect, if you do not plan to fulfill your responsibilities as Senate Majority Leader, perhaps it is time to step aside,” they added.
With the current spending law set to expire at midnight Friday, the negotiations will need to be wrapped up sometime Wednesday if Republicans want to stick to their rule requiring bills to be published online three days before a vote.
If negotiators are unable to finish work on a bill, the House and Senate will have to pass some sort of stopgap measure or risk a government shutdown.
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.