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Jackson Lee: Congress like nation's 'parents'

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) on Wednesday morning said members of Congress are like the parents of everyone in the country and said these "parents" need to act quickly to protect their toddlers from the possible fallout of a debt default.

"We, as custodians of this great nation, members of the United States Congress, are like parents," she said on the House floor. "And therefore I ask any parent that is listening: How long do they wait before they see a toddler fall, or do they leap toward that toddler so that they know the strength of that parent is always there?"

Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) had his own parent-child analogy Wednesday, when he accused House Republicans of acting like children throwing a tantrum.

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He said there is no reason why the government is still shut down after 16 days, "other than what you might see in a preschool class with some kid that is too tired and is down on the floor throwing a tantrum, screaming and yelling and trying to stop everything."

"Kid, OK, get your blanket, get your bottle and take a nap," he said of conservative Republicans. "We don't need tantrums around here."

Democrats spoke on the floor just hours after House GOP leaders broke off their effort to win the support of conservative Republicans on a new debt-ceiling and spending bill by adding elements that attack ObamaCare. But Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is now expected to offer a bipartisan Senate deal, which would likely have to pass the House with significant support from Democrats.

By following through on that plan, Congress seems likely to avoid a default on the U.S. debt. But Democrats still argued that Republicans took far too long to come to this conclusion.

"I'm embarrassed for my Republican colleagues who cannot figure out what they want, as they tie themselves into knots, refusing to put a simple, clean continuing resolution on the floor that would end this madness," said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.).

"This shutdown and this threat of default has made this chamber look ridiculous," added Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.).

Garamendi started his remarks by saying the House is being "jerked around" by a "small contingent of folks that are not thinking clearly."