From NBC's Kelly O'Donnell
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) says he feels badly about his own heated moment on the Senate floor earlier this month with Sen. John Thune (R-SD).
"Every senator has had his or her chance to speak up and help make this a better bill or to make a case against the bill," Franken said. "Unfortunately, it's been a bit rancorous, and I think that's too bad. There have been accusations flying back and forth, umbrage has been taken. this place as become an umbrage factory. I even took umbrage once, and I feel bad about that. My colleagues across the aisle have taken great umbrage, because we've accused them of using scare tactics."
On Dec. 14, a clearly frustrated Franken accused Thune of misrepresenting what's in the bill and when benefits would begin. Franken nearly shouted, "We are entitled to our own opinions; we're not entitled to our own facts... Benefits kick in right away."
Thune then took the floor and stressed that "tax increases start 18 days from now," while "spending benefits don't start until 2014."
Franken appeared angrier and reclaimed his time. "He doesn't want to hear it," Franken said in a heated voice, while pointing to Thune. "We are entitled to our own opinions; we're not entitled to our own facts."