Senators Blame Gridlock on Opposing Party, Can Only Agree on Leaving Town

Sep 29, 2010 3:52pm

ABC News' Matthew Jaffe reports:

The Senate today finally reached a bipartisan agreement… to get out of town until mid-November.

"We may not agree on much, but I think with rare exception all 100 senators want to get out of here and get back to their states,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said this afternoon.

Reid is one of the senators who’s got a re-election fight on his hands, so he has additional motivation to get home. But he’s also tired of the gridlock on the Hill.

“I'll really be glad to get home,” he admitted. “I've spent a lot of time here working through the procedural morass that the Senate has become.”

And that’s where the bipartisan agreement ends, since Democrats blame that “morass” on Republican obstruction, Republicans on Democratic incompetence.  

“The minority strategy has been obvious for some time. It's to legislate as little as possible. They've done everything they can to slow the Senate to a screeching halt,” said Reid.

Countered Republican John Thune of South Dakota, “This year we didn’t even pass a budget, which is the most fundamental responsibility that we have as stewards of the American tax dollars.”

“We haven’t passed a single appropriations bill,” he continued. “So now we’re faced with passing a continuing resolution to take us into December, at which time we can come back and try this all over again.”

The Senate is expected to pass that stop-gap funding bill tonight, although there’s a slim chance it could slide to tomorrow. Either way, they can’t wait to leave.

As a smiling Reid quipped at the end of his appearance before reporters today, “Have a good Halloween.”



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