Senate Democrats Blast GOP for Dropping Out of Debt Talks

Jun 23, 2011 3:43pm

ABC News' Sunlen Miller (@sunlenmiller) reports:

Senate Democrats blasted Republicans Cantor and Kyl for the breakup of the Biden-led debt talks today, and predicted that the negotiations would now fall into the hands of the leadership instead.

“I think it's now — with what Kyl and Cantor's done, I think it's in the hands of the speaker and the president and sadly, probably, me,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, adding that the  August recess is no longer a sure thing.

“I'm terribly disappointed,” Reid added of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., dropping out of the debt talking this morning, “It appears they're giving up. We can't give up.”

Reid said that it appears as if the time for side groups is over, and that the leadership must now take control and work out a deal to raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit before the Obama administration’s August 2 deadline for action. Reid said, though, he has yet to be invited to any formal meetings yet.

“My honest feeling is that I think that we're beyond gangs of five and gangs of sixes,” he said adding, though, that some progress was made before the talks collapsed, “The Republicans should stop playing chicken and pushing us too close to that line. It's not going to be good for our country or the world.”

Senator Schumer, D-N.Y., said this was “not an adult moment” for the Republicans to walk away from the table.

“I think the Republicans are quietly coming to the realization that it will take Democratic votes to pass any debt ceiling agreement,” Schumer said, “So Leader Cantor clearly got spooked by how this final deal has to come together.”

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