Pelosi, Reid Slam Boehner's Reckless Effort to Sabotage Deal to End Shutdown, Avoid Default

Moments after House Speaker John Boehner held a press conference to announce he didn't know what his next move would be, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid blasted Boehner's refusal to commit to ending the government shutdown and avoiding default.

In Pelosi's words:

What you saw here earlier was a Speaker who did not have the votes for his proposal. So why are they doing this to the American people? Sabotaging a good faith bipartisan effort coming out of the Senate, wasting the public's time. And in this case, time is money. Time is money. This is going to be very costly to our economy. [...] This Republican habit of sabotaging of any effort to move forward is a luxury our country cannot afford.

Of the GOP's antics, Reid said it was "hard to comprehend this logically."

The tea party driven part of the Republican party doesn't follow logic. Why would they want to close the government for 15 days and have us default on our debt? Introduction of this measure by House Republican leadership is unproductive and a waste of time. Let's be clear: The House legislation will not pass the Senate.

In a way, Reid was giving Boehner more credit than he deserves, because, as Pelosi said, Boehner clearly doesn't have the votes for his plan, which was already DOA. So now he's going to move it to the right, which means that it will be deader than dead, even if it passes the House—and there's no guarantee of that. (Since the bill is a ransom demand, no Democrats will vote for it, so Boehner's tea partiers can veto anything that they don't like.)

Bottom-line: Whatever Boehner ends up squeezing out of the House Republicans—if he manages to get anything at all—is irrelevant. If Republicans want to reopen government and avoid default, they are going to have to work with Democrats. And given that Democrats aren't asking for Republicans to do anything other than reopen the government and avoid default, the choice for Republicans is clear: Either they support the government shutdown and forcing default, or they don't.

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