Sen. Susan Collins, who offered a potential compromise to end the government shutdown and raise the nation's debt ceiling, said Sunday that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was too quick to dismiss it when lawmakers are still struggling to break a fiscal stalemate on Capitol Hill.
“I was very surprised that Sen. Reid said that,” Collins said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I don’t think it was very constructive.”
Reid and other Democratic leaders Saturday rebuffed Collins’ proposal to fund the government through March and lift the debt ceiling through January. In return, Collins’ plan would have delayed for two years a tax on medical devices implemented through Obamacare and created income-verification measures for those receiving subsidies under the new health law.
Democrats balked, saying they were getting too little in return. They are now pushing to undo or limit across-the-board budget cuts that went into effect earlier this year under sequestration.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said her party isn't dismissing the Maine senator’s plan outright.
“I think what Sen. Reid meant was he wasn’t going to accept every little detail in it,” the Democrat said.
Collins also hit President Obama for waiting too long to get Republicans and Democrats together for talks.
“The president,” Collins said, “should have brought the leaders to the White House far earlier than he did."
Obama hosted Republicans and Democrats from both chambers at the White House just last week, after spending weeks on the sidelines while lawmakers wrestled with looming fiscal deadlines.