Reid also accused the tea party of “dictating a lot that goes on in the Republican leadership in the House” and urged Boehner to resist pressure from the right.
“The Republican leadership in the House has to make a decision: Will they want to do the right thing for the country or the right thing for the tea party?” he said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham said he, too, was hopeful that a shutdown could be avoided, in part because he predicted that fiscally conservative Democrats would vote for hefty spending cuts for political reasons.
“I think we’ll get together,” the South Carolina Republican said on “Face the Nation.” “I think there are a lot of red state Democrats who do not want to take this fight any further. They do want to be seen as reducing spending. ... I think we’ll find common ground. There are enough Democrats out there who understand they need to be on the right side of reducing the federal government, and we’ll find a number that we all can agree on.”
House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan pointed out that the House passed the continuing resolution with $61 billion in cuts in February, while the Senate has yet to pass its own spending bill.
“We don’t want to shut the government down. ... We passed our legislation to prevent a government shutdown and cut spending,” the Wisconsin Republican said on “Fox News Sunday.”
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.