Thune said members of Congress are “sitting on the sidelines” because they didn’t act sooner to address the “fiscal cliff” they’ve known was coming for months.

“Why didn’t we have a bill on the floor that we could actually debate?” Thune said Monday. “Two people are gathered in a private room negotiating something that has enormous consequences for our economy because this process was grossly mismanaged.”

Thune said the Senate could have debated and passed a budget earlier this year to avoid all of this last minute negotiating.

“Now we’re sitting here because we have twiddled our thumbs for month after month,” Thune said. “Now we’re sitting here on New Year’s Eve … The count down on the television is the number of hours and minutes before we as a country go over the fiscal cliff.”

Thune said he was disappointed to hear that most of the negotiation between Biden and McConnell was on whose taxes should or shouldn’t be raised rather than also talking about spending reductions. Thune said Washington has a spending problem, not a revenue problem.