Sen. Reid blasts Republican lawmakers for ‘obstructionism on steroids’

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) blasted Republicans for what he called “obstructionism on steroids” on Sunday and said he hoped that GOP lawmakers would return to Washington willing to “compromise” with Democrats.

“McConnell said his number one goal was to defeat President Obama, not have him reelected and that’s how they’ve legislated,” said Reid of GOP lawmakers on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.

Reid said the end-of-2011 fight over extending a payroll tax cut was a “disaster” for Republicans. “I would hope that they understand that everything does not have to be a fight,” he said.

Reid placed all of the blame for the harsh partisan fights over spending which characterized 2011 on Republicans and insisted that Democrats had been willing to compromise to pass legislation. 

“I would hope the two Republican leaders have learned from what took place in the previous year,” he added.

Reid said Republicans should have "learned they can’t be guided by the Tea Party.” “The Tea Party is putting them right over the cliff,” he said.

But he also noted that in his view, “the Tea party is dying out as the economy is getting better.”

Reid also said that while he understood the frustration of Americans with Congress, lawmakers had been able to pass important legislatin.

“We’ve done everything we could to work with them in spite of the obstructionism.  We’ve been able to accomplish many good things," he said.

“We can’t talk about not getting anything done in spite of the Republicans, we’ve gotten lot of things done.”

Reid said the Senate’s focus would again be on “rebuilding the economy.” “The only way to do that is to create jobs.”

The majority leader also defended President Obama’s recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Republicans have questioned the constitutionality of the move suggesting that may support a legal challenge.

Reid though said he was “confident” that the appointment would be upheld.  “The president has the right to make appointments,” he said.