Reid: From Budget To Supreme Court, Republicans Refuse To Do Their Jobs

“Republicans promised voters that, once in power, they would pass a budget each and every year … It’s pretty clear that they are going to break that promise.” 

“This is just the latest example of Republicans refusing to meet their commitments – refusing to do their jobs – even according to their own terms. It’s just like their refusal to consider President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland.”

“So what I ask is where are all the Republican senators who came to the floor to bash Democrats on the lack of a budget resolution? They’ve gone silent.”

Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid spoke on the Senate floor today about Republican inaction on passing a budget and giving fair consideration to President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland. Below are his remarks:

Tomorrow is April 15.  And under the Congressional Budget Act, that’s the day by which Congress is supposed to have completed a budget resolution. This Republican Congress will not meet tomorrow’s deadline. We’ve known that for some time. And by all indications, they have no intention of doing anything to pass a budget resolution any time soon.

As the Republican leader told reporters earlier this week, in the absence of a budget resolution, Republicans will simply use the topline spending numbers that were agreed upon last year. Here is what he said:

“We’re waiting to see if the House is able to do a budget. In the meantime, I’ve already announced, and I’ll announce again today that we’re going to move to appropriations next week, probably starting with energy and water, and we’ll mark these bills to the top line that we agreed to in the agreement last year.”

As we know, he filed cloture on the energy and water bill a minute ago.

If the statement he made sounds familiar, it should – because that’s what we did when we were in the majority. We used the topline numbers in the Murray-Ryan budget agreement as the basis for spending bills. Republicans will begin that same process today as the appropriations process gets underway with the first full committee markup of the year.

But how did Republicans react when we did the same thing? They were falling all over themselves – speech after speech – to criticize us. Republicans came to the Senate floor endlessly to taunt us with charts and over-the-top rhetoric. They shed crocodile tears by the bucketful. They even threatened to withhold members’ pay as punishment. There was legislation produced to that effect. But it was all for show.

Republicans promised voters that, once in power, they would pass a budget each and every year. That’s what the Republican leader promised in 2012, saying:

“I don’t think the law says, ‘Pass a budget unless it’s hard,’ so I think there’s no question that we would take up our responsibility….We would be passing a budget….Every year.”

That was the Republican pledge: “Give us the majority and we will pass a budget every year.” It’s pretty clear that they are going to break that promise.

This is just the latest example of Republicans refusing to meet their commitments – refusing to do their jobs – even according to their own terms. It’s just like their refusal to consider President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland. We have years and years’ worth of statements from the Republican leader and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee in which they said unequivocally – it’s the Senate’s duty to consider the President’s Supreme Court nominees.

These statements go back decades. The Republican Leader wrote papers in law school demanding the Senate give Supreme Court nominees all due consideration. Well, all due consideration is not refusing to meet with the man, not holding hearings and not allowing a vote.

But now that he’s in the position to do something about that article he wrote in law school and the other statement that have been made by him and the Judiciary chairman, he won’t give Merrick Garland a hearing or a vote. He won’t even meet with Judge Garland. The Judiciary Chairman met with him yesterday in secret – not in his office. They met in a private dining room downstairs and then the Chairman went out the backdoors. Some observers described him as stumbling over chairs to vacate the premises.

So what I ask is where are all the Republican senators who came to the floor to bash Democrats on the lack of a budget resolution? They’ve gone silent.

I’m just asking: When are Republicans going to do their job?