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Reid to GOP: You Are ‘an Embarrassment’

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called out Republicans on Tuesday, describing them as “an embarrassment.”

“Time and time again, Republican leaders have brought the United States to the brink of unnecessary disaster, and sadly here we are again facing another manufactured crisis courtesy of Republicans in Congress,” the Democratic leader said. “If we don’t act, we allow the United States to default, the day of reckoning will be terrible.”

The Hill reports:

The Treasury Department says lawmakers have until Nov. 3 to increase the debt ceiling, which limits how much money the federal government can borrow.

The Obama administration is vowing that it won’t negotiate a “clean” debt bill free of any policy changes, but Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) could face an uphill fight to get a proposal through the House.

Top Democrats, including Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), are pointing to the uncertainty surrounding who will replace Boehner as a key reason to bring up a clean debt bill now instead of closer to the deadline.

House Republicans are instead expected to take up legislation this week that would allow the U.S. government to prioritize debt payments if Congress doesn’t increase the debt limit by the November deadline.

Reid, however, dismissed the legislation, calling it “absurd” and a “partial default.”

“A partial default. Mr. President, you can’t be partially pregnant,” he added. “House Republicans have engineered legislation to pick which debts to ignore and pay. Their proposed legislation is going to pay foreign creditors first, like China.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced similar legislation in the Senate on Monday, arguing that it would help prevent a default, while prioritizing payments.

That legislation was fast-tracked on Tuesday. The procedural move allows it to skip the Senate’s committee process and be placed on the Senate’s legislative calendar where it could be brought up for a vote, though one hasn’t been scheduled.

Reid, however, said that Republicans need to “get their act together.”

“By all signs, it doesn’t appear they’re going to,” he added. “I say to my Republican friends, especially the leaders in the House of Representatives and the United States Senate, start governing in a way that’s not an embarrassment to Congress and the American people.”

Photo credit: Western Journalism.

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