(WASHINGTON) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday that House Speaker John Boehner was “mistaken” when he said there aren’t enough votes in the House to pass a clean continuing resolution.
“Why are you afraid? Are you afraid this measure will pass, the government will reopen and Americans will realize you took the country hostage for no apparent reason? Why is the speaker opposed to these reasonable solutions?” Reid said on the Senate floor Monday.
As many Democrats have done over the past day, Reid challenged Boehner to hold a vote on the clean funding bill to prove whether it would pass.
“No matter how you do the math, it adds up to a majority of the members of the House of Representatives,” Reid said. “One surefire way to find out whether the bill would pass is to have a vote on it.”
As the government shutdown extended into its seventh day, there seemed to be no path for compromise between Democrats and Republicans. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called on his Democratic colleagues to agree to holding negotiations to reopen the government.
“I would suggest that they start thinking about how they might start playing a constructive role in the crisis and in the challenges that lie ahead,” McConnell said. “There is a time for politics. There’s a time for sitting down like adults and working things out.”
Senate Chaplain Barry Black, who has offered timely prayers each day of the government shutdown, prayed Monday that senators would not “put politics ahead of progress.”
“Forgive us also when we put politics ahead of progress,” Black said. “Lord, strengthen our senators today, helping them to not throw away their confidence in you. Inspire them to persevere in seeking to do your will knowing that your promises are sure and that the harvest is certain.”
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