Schumer said Democrats made an offer last week to meet Republicans halfway but that Republican leadership, which was inclined to accept the offer, rejected it because the House whips warned members of the Tea Party would rebel.
"If they are planning to reject such an offer it is clear they will not take yes for an answer and are seeking shutdown," said Schumer. “The Republican leaders in the House with the Tea Party breathing down their back won’t take yes for an answer.”
Schumer went on to remind Republicans than any budget would need 60 votes in the Senate and that many of his Democratic members are unwilling to support the scope of cuts demanded by the Tea Party.
The government is being funded on a three-week stopgap measure that expires on April 8.
Schumer said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) had "caught a tiger by the tail" in the form of the Tea Party, and said it was time for Republican leadership to assert its authority.
"It’s time for House Republicans to rip the Band-aid off," said Schumer. "Mr. Speaker, it’s time to forget the Tea Party and make a deal."