Reid: ‘We Are Not Going to Negotiate’

By Michael W. Chapman | September 30, 2013 | 4:03pm EDT

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.)

( – After leading the Democrat-dominant Senate to vote against the House-approved continuing resolution (CR) spending measure -- which included a one-year delay in implementing Obamacare -- along party lines (54-46), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said, “We are not going to negotiate on this” legislation.

Reid also described the efforts of the Republicans in the House and Senate to defund Obamacare in the must-pass CR bill as bullying, stressing that Democrats and President Barack Obama “are not going to be bullied.”

During a press conference at the Capitol today after the vote, Reid said,  “We have done everything we can to be fair and reasonable. Senator [Patty] Murray [D-Wash.], in spite of their ignoring her, in spite of ignoring Senator [Barbara] Mikulski [D-Md.] …. The president has met with these folks all over town, the White House, the dinners in the fancy restaurants. He put in writing what he was willing to do. He put it in writing.”

“They have yet to issue a sentence after all those meals they ate, not a sentence as to what they are willing to do, which is nothing,” said Reid.  “So, our negotiation is over with. And I’ve said that for 2 weeks.”

The Senate Majority Leader continued, “They should pass a CR. They are closing down the government. I don’t know what in the world is wrong with them, why they’re fixated on this Obamacare. It is the law. Tomorrow, the [health insurance] exchange in Nevada is up.”

“We have 600,000 people in the sparesly populated state of Nevada who need health care,” he said. “They can go, in Nevada they can buy a policy for $100 in Nevada – damn sure can’t do it now – but with Obamacare they can, starting tomorrow.”

President Barack Obama, House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

When asked by a reporter whether it was important to stand his ground now with tough negotiations over raising the debt ceiling coming up in the next few weeks, Reid said it was all the more reason to stand fast.

“You know, with a bully, you cannot let them slap you around,” said Reid.  “Because if they slap you around today, they slap you 5 or 6 six times tomorrow. We are not going to be bullied. We’ve done everything we can and we’ve done it very reasonably.”

The GOP-dominant House of Representatives has sent two different CR’s to the Senate for approval in the last 10 days: the first one would have funded the federal government into the new fiscal year, which starts on Oct. 1, but provided no funds for further implementation of Obamacare; it was rejected by Reid and the Democrat-controlled Senate.

The second CR included funding for government but also language to delay Obamacare for another year and ended a tax on certain medical devices.  Reid and the Senate Democrats (and 2 independents) voted against that measure today.

Unless the Senate votes to approve and the president signs a CR, which originates from the House, the government will shut down at midnight this evening. All essential government services, however, including national security, law enforcement, Social Security checks, and the Postal Service, among other functions, will continue under a shutdown.

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