The Slatest

Harry Reid: “The American People Will Not Be Extorted by Tea Party Anarchists”

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid speaks to members of the media on September 24

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

The US government appeared to move steadily toward a shutdown Saturday afternoon after House Republicans announced their intention to vote on a one-year delay for Obamacare in exchange for funding the government. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made it clear that, as most already suspected, the GOP’s plan would be dead-on-arrival in the Senate. “The Senate will reject any Republican attempt to force changes to the Affordable Care Act through a mandatory government funding bill or the debt ceiling,” Reid said in a statement.

The statement goes on:

To be absolutely clear, the Senate will reject both the one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act and the repeal of the medical device tax. After weeks of futile political games from Republicans, we are still at square one: Republicans must decide whether to pass the Senate’s clean CR, or force a Republican government shutdown.

Senate Democrats have shown that we are willing to debate and vote on a wide range of issues, including efforts to improve the Affordable Care Act. We continue to be willing to debate these issues in a calm and rational atmosphere. But the American people will not be extorted by Tea Party anarchists.

White House spokesman Jay Carney also piled on the criticism of Republicans, making it clear that “any member of the Republican Party who votes for this bill is voting for a shutdown,” reports Politico.

A Democratic source tells CNN that it’s unlikely the Senate would return to Washington before Monday, noting “there’s no point” when the impasse is so clear. On Saturday afternoon, Republicans seemed determined to stick with their plan to push for a one-year delay in implementing the Affordable Care Act. MSNBC reports that Republicans broke out into huge applause after the leadership laid out the plans. “The whole room: ‘Let’s vote!’” Congressman John Culberson of Texas recalled. “I said, like 9/11, ‘let’s roll!’”