Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) both spoke on the Senate floor this morning to tee up their positions ahead of the deficit meetings at the White House Thursday.
Reid said it’s up to the Republican Party to compromise and move away from their position of no tax revenues in a deficit deal. He said these talks will determine the character of the GOP.
"Will they be the party that came to Washington to help govern, to craft solutions to difficult issues facing this nation in cooperation with patriots on both sides of the aisle?” Reid said. “Or will they be the kind of single-issue, ideological party who walks away from reasonable compromise for the sake of politics? That is the question.”
He quoted from New York Times columnist David Brooks yesterday, "The Mother of All No-Brainers," that challenged "responsible Republicans" to step up and make a deal.
"David Brooks, conservative columnist, said this,” Reid said. “The Republican Party has been taken over by ideologues either devoted to or terrified by Grover Norquist and his no-tax pledge."
McConnell defended the Republican position against raising taxes.
"We're eager to meet with the president to see if he's really willing to do something big here for the country,” McConnell said. “We don't think it's absolutist to oppose stimulus spending. We don't think it's maximalist to oppose hundreds of billions of dollars in tax hikes in the middle of a jobs crisis. We'd have a better term for it: common sense."