By Russell Berman - 02/26/13 03:55 PM EST
A salty Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerThe Trail 2016: The establishment comes around Pete King: Cruz 'gives Lucifer a bad name' White House: Boehner was just being honest about Cruz MORE (R-Ohio) on Tuesday told members of the Senate to “get off their ass” and pass a bill to replace $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts, setting off an exchange with Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidCory Booker is Clinton secret weapon Overnight Energy: Dems block energy spending bill for second day Senate GOP hardening stance against emergency funding for Zika MORE (D-Nev.).
“We have moved a bill in the House twice. We should not have to move a third bill before the Senate gets off their ass and begins to do something,” BoehnerJohn BoehnerThe Trail 2016: The establishment comes around Pete King: Cruz 'gives Lucifer a bad name' White House: Boehner was just being honest about Cruz MORE told reporters in a press conference, repeating a message he had just delivered in a closed-door meeting of the House Republican conference.
“It’s time for the Senate to act,” Boehner said. “It’s not about the House. We’ve acted.”
Following Boehner's comments, Reid accused House Republicans of “sitting on their posterior” and challenged Boehner to pass legislation.
“I think he should understand who is sitting on their posterior,” Reid said. “We’re doing our best here to pass something. The Speaker is doing nothing to try to pass anything over there.”
“We have something called the Constitution that [requires] you have to start over again every two years,” Reid said. “The reason he’s not bringing up something over there is he can’t pass it. He can’t get his caucus to agree on anything.”
“So I ask the Republican Speaker, ‘Where’s your bill? You can’t rely on what happened last Congress. Where’s your plan? You can’t rely on what happened last Congress.’ ”
Reid said the House Republican strategy is to “sit on the sidelines instead of working with us to pass something."
He noted that 174 House Republicans voted for the sequester and they share the responsibility for stopping its impact on the economy.
The House is not scheduled to be in session Friday, when the cuts will begin to take effect, but the Speaker said the lower chamber would be prepared to respond to Senate action.
“If the Senate acts, I’m sure the House will act quickly,” Boehner said.
The Senate plans to vote on two competing measures to replace or modify the sequester, but neither is expected to achieve the 60-vote threshold needed to advance.
Boehner and other House GOP leaders repeated their criticism of President Obama for holding campaign-style rallies outside Washington instead of meeting with Senate Democratic leaders to hash out a solution. The president was scheduled to be in Newport News, Va., on Tuesday, where he will be joined by both Democratic lawmakers and one House Republican, Rep. Scott RigellScott RigellGOP lawmaker: I wouldn't vote for Cruz or Trump in November Potential Trump adviser claimed role in secret Libya peace talks Supreme Court weighs legality of Virginia redistricting MORE (Va.), who has said his party’s leaders should consider Democratic proposals to raise new tax revenue.
“There’s a fundamental question here the president has to decide: Does he want to be president of a political party, or does he want to be president of the United States?” asked Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the third-ranking Republican. “It is time for leadership.”
--Alexander Bolton contributed to this report.
--This report was updated at 4:08 p.m.