As Shutdown Approaches, Congress Just Squabbles

Dems blame GOP-Tea Party divide, Cantor blames Dems, hilarity ensues
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2011 10:15 AM CDT
House Majority Leaser Eric Cantor addresses the VCU Men's basketball team on Monday, March 28, 2011.   (AP Photo/Scott K. Brown)
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(Newser) – Negotiations between Democrats and Republicans are going so poorly that it’s looking more and more likely that the government will shut down when its current temporary funding measure expires April 8, the Wall Street Journal observes. Both sides spent yesterday criticizing each other, with Harry Reid blaming the lack of progress on Republicans’ unwillingness to compromise on their goal of cutting $61 billion in spending.

“The biggest gap in this negotiation isn’t between Republicans and Democrats—it’s between Republicans and Republicans,” Reid said. “The infighting between the Tea Party and the rest of the Republican Party … is keeping our negotiating partner from the negotiating table.” Eric Cantor, meanwhile, attacked Democrats for not passing cuts of their own, saying the public would blame them for a shutdown. Joe Biden has played mediator, keeping the sides talking, but he’s trying to keep a low-profile, Democrats said, because Republicans don’t want to be seen negotiating with the White House.

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