Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) decried on Thursday the "Charlie Brown theory of government" that, he said, has plagued the Senate this year.
Reid knocked Senate Republicans for forcing delays to many of Democrats' top legislative priorities in the past year, making reference to a famed running joke in the "Peanuts" comic strip.
"I've been terribly disappointed by the Charlie Brown theory of government around here," Reid said at the Capitol during a press conference on the state aid bill the Senate will pass later Thursday.
Reid was referencing the famous gag in the comic strip in which the main character, Charlie Brown, repeatedly places trust in his friend, Lucy, to hold a football he's about to kick. Every time, Lucy pulls away the football at the last minute, leaving Charlie Brown to take a comical tumble.
A Senate GOP aide joked: "I don’t get it — Is Reid comparing himself to Charlie Brown, Lucy or the football?"
Democrats have repeatedly expressed exhaustion at their Republican colleagues for allegedly playing games with a number of bills, forcing drawn-out debates and additional votes on pieces of legislation.
"We're working through the work that we have," said Reid, who noted that the Senate could wrap up its work today.
The top Senate Democrat said he expected senators to approve a state aid bill on Thursday after voting on two measures from Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) having to deal with expiring tax cuts. Reid said that he'd also try to get unanimous consent to move toward approving settlement money with black farmers.
Reid expressed frustration, though, that a small-business package and child-nutrition bill would likely have to wait until after the recess. Reid said he had the votes for those but felt it was more productive to cajole colleagues over those items, rather than trying to force a vote before the Senate wraps up its work for the month.
"Time is very valuable to everyone and a lot of times you save time by not just using brute force to move forward," he said.