Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., blocked a vote on President Obama’s proposal, articulated last week by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, saying that “there is no Geithner proposal.”
“If the President’s proposal was made in good faith, Democrats should be eager to vote for it,” McConnell said today. “So I’m surprised the Majority Leader just declined the chance for them to support it with their votes. I guess we’re left to conclude that it couldn’t even pass by a bare majority of votes, and that they’d rather take the country off the cliff than actually work out a good-faith agreement that reflects tough choices on both sides.”
Earlier this year, the Senate voted down Obama’s budget proposal by a vote of 99-0. McConnell proposed the vote both as an amendment to the Russia Trade Bill and as a stand-alone item. Reid objected to both.
“There is no Geithner proposal,” Reid said. “This is all made up.” Reid’s comment might come as a surprise to Geithner and the reporters who interviewed him over the weekend.
“We laid out a very detailed, carefully designed set of spending, savings and tax changes that help put us on a path offiscal responsibility,” Geithner told Fox News’ Chris Wallace on Sunday.
Earlier this year, the Senate voted down Obama’s budget proposal by a vote of 99-0 when it was introduced by a Republican, and the Democrats offered a similar explanation then.
“Obama’s proposal was an ‘F You’ to the Republicans and they’re trying to pretend like it was some kind of a serious proposal,” a senior Republican aide told The Washington Examiner. “What McConnell just did is he exposed that lie.”
McConnell made a the same point less colorfully, saying that the plan outlined by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner — which would also give the president permanent power to raise the debt ceiling unilaterally — was a “provocation” not a proposal.
Tweaking the Democrats from the Senate floor, the Republican leader said wasn’t surprised they refused to vote on the president’s proposal.
“As I just indicated, it includes a $2 trillion tax increase over 10 years — the biggest real dollar tax increase in U.S. history,” he said. It increases taxes on nearly one million small businesses — in the middle of a jobs crisis. According to Ernst and Young, this type of rate hike would cause more than 700,000 Americans to lose their jobs. It raises taxes on investment income, harming economic growth even more. It includes tens of billions of dollars in more Washington spending — in a deal to cut the deficit.”