Cruz, Reid exchange barbs on whether to debate government funding

Reid said he objected because he didn’t think the two senators would reach an agreement.

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“I am happy to sit down and talk to the senator — his office or my office — the point today is we need the government open,” Reid said. “With all due respect to my junior senator from Texas, I want to say this in the most respectful way, he and I with a dialogue here on the floor are not going to work this out.”

Lawmakers are still at an impasse on how to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government, which has been shut down for a week now. After prompting from Cruz, House Republicans have tried to use the funding measure to defund and repeal parts of ObamaCare, but Senate Democrats have said the House needs to pass a “clean” CR without any riders.

Cruz and House Republicans have pushed smaller “piecemeal” measure to fund national parks, the National Guard, veterans programs and the National Institutes of Health, among other things. Reid has objected to taking up those measures, saying Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) could reopen the entire government by holding an up-or-down vote on the Senate-passed measure.

“I say as nicely as we can: the problem we have here is what people are saying, like my friend from Texas, little bits and pieces of the government — that won’t work,” Reid said. “We need to reopen the whole government.”

It's unclear where the fight will go from here as each side becomes more entrenched. 

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