Boehner Hopes Senate 'Gets Off Their Ass'

House Speaker John Boehner used some choice words to pressure Senate Democrats to avert the looming sequester - $85 billion of arbitrary across-the-board cuts - insisting that "the House has done its job" and the burden to offer an alternative before the cuts strike Friday is on the president's party.

"We have moved the bill in the House twice," Boehner, R-Ohio, said. "We should not have to move a third bill before the Senate gets off their ass and begins to do something."

Hours later, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the speaker needs a reality check about who is sitting idly by as the impending sequester cuts prepare to take hold at the end of the week.

"He should understand who is sitting on their posterior," Reid told reporters at a Capitol news conference Tuesday. "We're doing our best here to pass something. The speaker's doing nothing to try to pass anything over there. He's falling back onto what he said they did last Congress.

"Well, we have something called the constitution that you have to start over again every two years and the reason he's not bringing something up over there is because he cannot pass it. He can't get his caucus to agree on anything as we learned last year," Reid continued. "So he can't say to us, 'Why don't you get something done' when he hasn't even been trying to get anything done."

Reid used the word "ass" twice when describing Boehner's earlier remarks.

"I was raised in a little town that had 13 brothels in it so I'm used to some pretty salty language as you know," Reid said before repeating Boehner's use of the profane language. "The speaker today said - he's not that category for sure - but Boehner hopes [the] Senate gets off their ass. And it's quite interesting, we should not have to move a third bill before the Senate gets off their ass and begins to do something."

House Republicans voted twice during the 112 th Congress to narrowly pass legislation to offset sequestration with alternative savings, but those measures languished in the Senate and expired with the end of the session.

Reid suggested the $85 billion in across the board cuts should go into effect if Republicans won't agree to increasing taxes as a means of averting the sequester.

"Until there's some agreement on revenue, I believe we should just go ahead with the sequester," Reid said.

Read More About Sequestration

Boehner criticized President Obama for taking a Virginia road trip "to use our military men and women as a prop in yet another campaign rally to support his tax hikes."

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

"I don't think the president's focused on trying to find a solution to the sequester," he said. "For 16 months, the president's been traveling all over the country holding rallies, instead of sitting down with Senate leaders in order to try to forge an agreement over there in order to move the bill."

Considering Republicans have not acted in the current session of Congress on any legislation to replace the sequester, House Democrats question whether there is sufficient support to pass the old GOP proposal.

"I don't think I need to give the Speaker a lesson in legislating or how government runs, but whatever was done last year that didn't get signed into law has evaporated. It is gone. It does not exist," California Democratic Rep. Xavier Becerra, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said today. "This is a new year, a new session of Congress and it's time for everyone to get to work."

Boehner deflected a question whether he believes his weakened majority could pass the Republican bill again, and returned his attention to pushing for a vote in the Senate.

"It's time for the Senate to act. It's not about the House," he responded. "We've acted."

Related: Sequester Timeline - When Will Cuts Kick In?

"Where's the president's plan to avoid the sequester? Have you seen one? I haven't seen one," Boehner added. "All I've heard is that he wants to raise taxes again. Where's the president's plan? Where's the Senate Democrat plan? I want to see it."

Republican senators held strong on their view that the president needs to agree to spending cuts in order to avert the looming sequester, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he's willing to provide the president with the "flexibility" to find those cuts.

"Senate Republicans do not believe that it's a good idea to walk away from that commitment to cut spending," McConnell said. "My own view is I'd be happy to provide the president with the flexibility to do that differently than the way it's mandated in the sequester."

Related: States Prepare for Sequester

"This is not an issue or problem that needs to be solved or attempted to be solved by raising taxes again," Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, added following lunch with his GOP colleagues in the Capitol. "The president got his pound of flesh in the fiscal cliff negotiation, $600 billion in additional taxes over 10 years. Now it's time for the balanced part of that equation which means we have to rein in federal spending."

McConnell also told reporters Republicans may present several alternatives to the Democrats' sequester proposal later this week, but Reid said he would not allow multiple Republican bills to be considered.

"The agreement was they'll have a bill. We'll have a bill. That's fair enough," Reid said.

Senate leaders are expected to introduce and vote on their respective plans later this week, perhaps by Thursday.

Reid accused Congressional Republicans of being "part of the problem" in finding a solution to the upcoming cuts, pressing for new tax increases to help offset the sequester.

"We want to work with Republicans to come to a balanced responsible way to reduce this sequester, the impact of it. My republican colleagues are standing in the way," Reid, D-Nev., said on the Senate floor. "They only want cuts and more cuts."

Although McConnell has said he is not interested in a last-minute deal, Boehner said "If the Senate acts, I'm sure the House will act quickly."

The House is meeting for legislation business today, although no action to avert the sequester is expected. The House also meets Wednesday and Thursday, but is currently not expected to be in session on Friday.

Reid suggested the $85 billion in across-the-board cuts should go into effect if Republicans won't agree to increasing taxes as a means of averting the sequester.

"Until there's some agreement on revenue, I believe we should just go ahead with the sequester," Reid said.

This post was updated Tuesday afternoon to incorporate the latest developments in the Senate.