Barney Frank: On budget, GOP in 'cloud cuckoo land'

Even though budget negotiations between Democrats and Republicans have resumed on Capitol Hill, the war of words between the two parties is alive and well.

Perhaps no better example has come than what was on offer Wednesday night, when sharp-tongued Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) accused Republican lawmakers of being in "cloud cuckoo land" for their maneuvers in the spending debate.  

Frank pointed to a largely symbolic bill, proposed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), mandating that if the Senate does not approve a government funding measure by April 8, the House-passed spending proposal would become "the law of the land." The Senate is highly unlikely to pass the bill since it already rejected the House proposal.

"It is possible to take him literally, and he says this will become the law of the land — you don't understand what land he is talking about," Frank countered in an interview on MSNBC. "As with Congresswoman [Michele] Bachmann [R-Minn.] and some others, we are talking about people who sometimes inherit — inhabit — 'cloud cuckoo land.' And in 'cloud cuckoo land,' yeah, that could be the case."

Frank said the proposal showed that Cantor "is trying desperately to avoid blame for the government shutdown."

The veteran Massachusetts lawmaker, however, assigned blame to Republicans should a shutdown occur, adding that the standstill would show a lack of commitment to U.S. forces fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

While Frank said that "it's true that bullets keep getting paid for" during a shutdown, "trying to conduct three wars while the government is shut down … is insane."

"You talk about a lack of support for the troops in the field — having them be under a government like this makes no sense."