McConnell, Reid at Fiscal Standoff: `You Can’t Legislate with Yourself’

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell says his party has “bent over backwards… stepped way, way out of our comfort zone,” in negotiations with Democrats over taxes and spending. And now a year-end deadline looms.

“Here we are, once again, at year’s end, staring at a crisis that we should have dealt with months ago,” the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor this afternoon.

“Republicans aren’t about to write a blank check for anything Senate Democrats put forward just because we stand at the edge of a cliff,” he said. “Hopefully there is still time for an agreement of some time that spares taxpayers from a wholly, wholly preventable tax crisis.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who had targeted House Speaker John Boehner with his criticism this morning, had a response for McConnell: Boehner, most interested in re-election as speaker, is the one standing in the way.

“The president campaigned on raising taxes on people making more than $200,000 a year… He won on this issue,” Reid said. “I would be most happy to move on something” that McConnell and Boehner would support — questioning whether Boehner and McConnell are even speaking with one another. “You can’t legislate with yourself. We have nobody to work with.”

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