McConnell was complaining that Democrats have asked for more tax revenue to be part of a major deficit-reduction plan, while Republicans have said the revenue discussion is over and now is the time to make serious spending cuts.

“For those who want to pretend that our country does not have a spending problem, now is the time to face reality,” McConnell said. “We can take on this challenge together if both sides are ready to do the necessary work to reform spending. But we have to get started today. Not next week. Not in April. Today.”

The Senate begins consideration of the No Budget, No Pay Act, H.R. 325, today, which suspends the debt ceiling through May 18 to give lawmakers more time to come up with a deficit-reduction plan. The bill also requires each chamber to pass a budget by April 15 or have its members face a pay suspension. The House passed the measure last week in a 285-144 vote.

McConnell said that just because that bill would give lawmaker three more months to deliberate doesn’t mean work on a deficit-reduction package shouldn’t start now.