Senate leaders exchange barbs, blaming the other for shutdown

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) countered that Democrats are the ones who truly want a shutdown, not Republicans.

"Democratic leaders in Congress finally have their prize — a government shutdown that no one seems to want but them," McConnell said Tuesday. "With just hours left to go Democrats voted again and again to reject reasonable legislation. … They don’t even want to talk about it."

Reid said George Orwell wrote McConnell’s remarks.

“My friend the Republican Leader spoke as if George Orwell wrote his speech,” Reid said. “This is 1984, where up is down.”

Their comments came minutes after the Senate voted for a third time to reject House Republicans’ conditions on a continued resolution (CR) to fund the government.

House GOP leaders tried several tactics to defund or change the implementation of ObamaCare in the CR. The Senate rejected them each time, creating a stalemate that resulted in a shutdown of the federal government at midnight Tuesday.

Reid and other Democrats said if the House would first pass a “clean” funding bill, then they would be willing to enter negotiations on a long-term measure.

It's unclear where the fight will go from here, with both sides digging in for the first government shutdown since 1997.