Reid to GOP: Open Government, Then We'll Negotiate

Senate majority leader attempts to break the political stalemate between Democrats, Republicans.
10:53 | 10/02/13

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Transcript for Reid to GOP: Open Government, Then We'll Negotiate
This is a special room. -- contact Hernandez in new York and -- BC news digital special report a break. Of sorts may -- in the government shut down in past today President Obama will meet. Hosted -- top congressional leaders tonight at 530 at the White House among those to be in attendance top senate Democrat Harry Reid who is -- Allen. -- it coming to us. The other side of the capitol. This is not about him -- me. How scoring point 41 side -- the other name calling like the villain villains. Is about doing the right thing for the American people. They expect us to act like adults. We actually work for the American people. He sent us here to get things done not to play these silly games. So here's what I propose. He's sitting on a bill that would reopen government right now. This bill would pass in a matter of minutes he just let Democrats and Republicans vote. He has have to he doesn't have to vote -- -- vote against that let the house work its will. Once we were open government was -- house -- appoint conferees. Worked out in the nation's long term fiscal challenges. Both sides have priority -- priorities that we want to move forward. So let's sit down -- that's how negotiation should work. Remember. There's -- blue they said they wanted to conference. Told me -- -- part of the letter they sent him. An hour or so ago. Now we find herself to loggerheads. There needs to be a path forward to -- -- government and kept our economy. This communication do you offering sensible reasonable compromise. Before the house you have sent -- pass me Israel government funded at the level house chose. In its own legislation. I proposed to allow the joint resolution passed -- open government. And I commit to name conferees to a bunch conference as soon as the government orphans that conference can discuss important fiscal issues facing our nation. You and your colleagues have repeatedly cited these fiscal issues as things -- which you need to work. This conference would be an appropriate place -- have those discussions were participants could raise whatever proposals such as tax reform. Health care agriculture. And certainly discretionary spending like veterans national parks in age. They feel they feel they felt appropriate. Hope that we can work together in this fashion together we can in this government -- -- address important fiscal issues facing our nation who reported hearing commutes. He can characterize the conversation between two of us. But it was a cordial conversation. Sunderland. Think similarly. Cargo I was down -- World War II memorial and honor flight came today from Illinois. There was a lot of fun and meeting -- World War II vets. All men who have served our nation and risked their lives to keep America free. For some of them it's the last trip -- -- make -- you can tell. But they wanted to be here and I'm glad the world. What they wanna talk about who wanted to talk about the government shutdown. Over and over again he said to me when he -- get this government up and running again. I think about that men who risked their lives decades ago. Who can't understand what's going on today in Washington. What is hard to explain. It's hard to explain how -- shut down the government in a manufactured political crisis. The impact. Well each day we come up with new examples. Examples -- brought to the floor and others have -- from National Institutes of Health heartbreaking 200 people turned out for clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health. Because of the government shutdown including thirty children most of them. Cancer victims. And so when -- raise that issue and others did. Senator crews decided to put the NIH on his bucket list of agencies that he was willing to say. Well if you shouldn't stop there. Here on it ultimately open up the government because there are so many agencies critically important to our country that are closed down today for no earthly reason. This morning. Director clapper spoke about the intelligence agencies and here's what he said before the Judiciary Committee -- Each day. Goes by the impact in jeopardy the safety and security of this country will increase. Over 70% of our civilian employers -- intelligence agency. Have been furloughed. Men and women charged with the responsibility of stopping the next 9/11. Are sitting at home. Sitting at home. What we have today is proposal by senator Reid speaker Boehner opened the government. When you open the government will open negotiations. Senator Murray as chairman of the Budget Committee is prepared to address. The big issues that are facing this nation facing this congress that is a fair sensible reasonable compromise. I hope -- a speaker -- reflects on it he will accept it. Let's in this government shut down today let's move forward as a nation. Let me thank senator Durbin for his -- remarks and -- -- her leadership on the Budget Committee and particularly senator Reid. For his steadfastness. In fighting a government shutdown. And his eagerness and always openness to sit down and have a serious dialogue with our Republican colleagues once that government opens. Now the Republicans. Have this exactly backwards. They say let's talk. And then maybe we'll open up the government. They ought to say will open up the government. And -- in weekend talks. They have it backwards. And late senator leader Reid's letter. Offers just what should be done. The letter says the Republicans have this upside down. But we're prepared to turn it right side up. If Republicans would simply switch all of the lights -- Allow hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal employees to go back to work. Allow parents to place their kids in head start allow cancer research to continue. These are the things that should be done and as senator Durbin mentioned. Average person may say this is an affecting me. When 75%. Of our intelligence employees. Are not working. Every one security is put at risk every one security. And so. We are asking the Republicans. To open the government and all eyes are on speaker Boehner. The whole country knows that he is the one person who has the ability to reopen the government. Speaker Boehner is the one person who can and the Tea Party shut down. And we're starting to call it Tea Party shut down because that's exactly what this news. It's the Tea Party in the house that has brought this government to its knees. Holding. Americans. Their livelihoods their economy and yes their security. At stake. And it's really not a surprise. If you go back and look there were a number of the Republican congressman who are leaders of the charge who promised when they -- Government. They didn't tie it to obamacare they just that I five get elected I promise we'll shut down the government. And then there -- these Tea Party minions chanting in the background if you look at these tapes saying shut it down shut it down. Now speaker Boehner is an accomplice in the Tea Party shut down and everyone knows. So he's trying desperately to wriggle out of the hot seat. By passing one off bills and making half hearted -- efforts to re open pieces of the government. Speaker banners in this position because sadly. He's become a -- it. With Ted crews pulling the strings. When senator Cruz told speaker Boehner to take up a crusade to defund obamacare. The speaker did it. When senator Cruz told the speaker to delay obamacare for a year the speaker did. -- -- winds. And when the speaker told a house to pass piecemeal bills in a cynical attempt to get important programs against each other. The speakers now trying to do that. Senator Cruz has driven speaker Boehner to Pitt kids who should be enrolled in head start. Against kids who should be enrolled in cancer trials. He's driven the speaker depict families who want to visit the statue of liberty against families who own a small businesses in need help from the SBA. -- -- Americans against one another he doesn't mind but speaker Boehner should. So were asking speaker Boehner to rise to the occasion. Today or recently the national review. Said that more than a hundred house Republicans. Are ready to vote. For a bill to reopen the entire government if he puts it on the floor a hundred. Speaker Boehner probably has a majority on his side. Why can't he show the strength. To resist the Tea Party minions who he knows is wrong. And open up the government so we asked speaker Boehner to seriously consider leader Reid's letter. Open the government and we will sit down and talk. Open the government. And we will have a budget conference. You've rejected -- eighteen times here in the senate but may be the nineteenth will be the charm. Under -- -- patty patty Murray's leadership. Okay you have been watching. A news conference. By senate. -- started by a majority leader Harry Reid there Democrats asking -- Republicans to come to the table. And refund government services will certainly have more on this developing story -- Dick -- including more on that meeting this evening with President Obama and -- leaders on time Hernandez in New York thank you for watching.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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