Chaos has taken over the nation’s capital as lawmakers trade diplomacy and discretion for name-calling and insults with the countdown to a government shutdown inching closer to zero.
Over the past few days, many Democrats have opted for extreme metaphor when describing their Republican colleagues and Obamacare opponents, comparing members of the GOP to terrorists and saboteurs, an exaggeration straight from President Barack Obama himself. But their insults have done little to pump the brakes on a government shutdown.
The House passed a continuing resolution last week that funded the government through Dec. 15 and defunded Obamacare, but the measure was passed by the Senate only after Obamacare funding was restored and the length of the funding extension was reduced. Then, House Speaker John Boehner made good on a statement saying the House wouldn’t accept a clean continuing resolution — which it received from the Senate — and lawmakers worked until the early hours of Sunday morning before passing their own measure delaying Obamacare for a year and repealing the Affordable Care Act’s medical device tax.
But as the Senate convened Monday at 2 p.m., the House’s resolution was rejected, and Senators began settling in for a long night of negotiations with a shutdown looming.
Here’s a list of 10 things Democrats have called Republicans in the shadow of the government shutdown.
“You cannot negotiate when they take hostages and when they extort, period.”
- Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)
“What we’re not for is negotiating with people who have a bomb strapped to their chest”
-Senior WH Adviser Dan Pfeiffer
“They refuse to pass a budget unless I let them sabotage Obamacare, something they know is not going to happen.”
-President Barack Obama
“…the anarchists have taken over. They’ve taken over the House, now they’re here in the Senate.”
-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
“We need to act like adults not like squealing political pigs”
-Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
“Or we can finally call these people what McConnell once gleefully acknowledged they are: hostage takers, unrepresentative of the once-proud Republican Party and unfit to govern the greatest nation on Earth.”
-Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau
Summing up bargaining by Tea Party Republicans as “if you don’t accept what we demand, we’re going to blow up the place.”
-Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
“I call them ‘legislative arsonists.’ They’re there to burn down what we should be building up in terms of investments and education and scientific research, and all that it is that makes our country great and competitive.”
-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
“The only phrase that describes it is political terrorism.”
Former Vice President Al Gore (D)
“That’s a scandal — those people are guilty of murder in my opinion.”
- Sen. Angus King (I-Maine)