Snowe laments gridlock, says Senate 'totally locked down'

"The Senate's totally locked down now," said Snowe on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "There's got to be some ability to reconcile on both sides, to have communication. We don't deal with the big issues."

She told MSNBC that not only is the Senate avoiding overarching issues, it's not able to handle routine legislative business.

"What would be the normal course of business on budget resolutions and appropriations bills … we've relegated all to lame-duck status," she said.

Snowe echoed House Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who took to MSNBC on Monday to predict "the mother of all lame ducks" following the November elections.

"It's going to be a very difficult one [lame-duck session]. We're dealing with every transformational issue in a short period of time," said Snowe.

The three-term senator blamed both Democrats and Republicans for failing to solve problems in a bipartisan way, but also accused President Obama of lacking leadership on the agenda in Congress.

"That's what I urged President Obama, early on in his administration: adopt the Reagan model of leadership — engage ...  engage the Congress in a bipartisan leadership," she said.

The centrist Republican, who often crossed party lines, announced in February that she wouldn't seek another term, citing frustration with gridlock as her reason.

"Unfortunately, I do not realistically expect the partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change over the short term," Snowe said at the time of the announcement.