Senate Dems focus ire on House GOP

Senate Democrats on Friday took aim at the Republican majority on the other side of the Capitol, blasting the GOP on a range of issues.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, hit Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), her counterpart in the House, over his stated intention to weaken the Environmental Protection Agency.

Boxer also voiced her discontent over a change in House rules enacted on Wednesday that will allow federal money normally allotted to building roads to be used for other purposes. 

Boxer’s criticism was notable in that she did not invoke the name of any members of the Senate and instead just hammered at Upton, the new chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Other Senate Democrats, including Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) also held a joint press conference earlier in the day to chide House Republicans for “already spending millions more than they want to cut.” 

The criticism from Senate Democrats suggests concern about the new GOP majority, and reflects the changing power in Washington.

House Republicans this week have also expressed concern about the Senate, where Democrats continue to hold a majority. Republicans can expect a number of the bills they pass, such as a repeal of the healthcare law, to die in the Senate.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in a press conference this week warned the Senate that it would “have to answer to the American people” if it served as a “cul-de-sac.”