Reid: McConnell is the ‘proud guardian of gridlock’

Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was obstructing efforts of members of his own party by blocking an energy efficiency bill.

Reid said several Republicans came to his office and asked him to bring a bipartisan energy efficiency bill to the floor without any amendments, but that McConnell had forced them to renege on the agreement. Those Republicans were cosponsoring S. 2262.

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“What a shame that they’ll see their efforts scrapped by the Republican leader. This isn’t the first time he’s steamrolled members of his own party,” Reid said on the Senate floor Thursday. “If my Republican counterpart wants to continue to block the hard work of members of his own party, go ahead, but it’s not good for the country.”

On Wednesday, Reid filed for cloture on S. 2262 and filled the amendment tree because he said McConnell kept changing his demands. The vote to end debate will occur Monday night and as of now it seems as if Democrats won’t be able to get five Republicans to join them to overcome the filibuster.

Reid said McConnell is the self-proclaimed “proud guardian of gridlock."

“Anyone who watches the Senate on C-SPAN knows the desks are split between Democrats and Republicans,” Reid said. “We should also have a section for obstructionists. … Unfortunately, the obstructionist wing of the Republican Party has now decided to once again block this bill.”

McConnell said he only wanted five votes on GOP amendments in addition to a vote on constructing the Keystone XL pipeline. Reid had agreed to the Keystone vote but refused to allow Republican amendments.