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.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks with reporters following a vote in the Senate. Gillibrand’s proposal to remove military commanders from the process of reviewing sexual-assault cases was left out of the bicameral deal on the defense authorization bill, but the senator is pushing for a vote on her plan soon.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.