This morning a number of House Republicans, joined by Senators Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Mike Lee (R-UT), met outside the Senate to demand action from their Senate colleagues and the White House to prevent a government shutdown. The press conference, one of six over as many days, is designed to put the spotlight on the failure of the Senate to help prevent a looming government shutdown.
Reading from a prepared statement, organizer Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR) kicked off the event by placing the blame for the lack of a deal at the feet of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). “It has been 46 days since the House passed a bill which reduces the massive $1.4 trillion deficit for FY2011 by a modest $61 billion,” he said, “Where’s your bill, Mr. Reid?”
The federal government is days away from a shutdown, and there is little sign that a deal is imminent. More than 45 days after the House passed a spending bill providing funding for the remainder of the year, the Senate has still failed to pass any similar funding compromise.
While Senator Majority Leader Reid took much of the criticism, several congressmen were also adamant that the President has not done all he can to help broker a deal. The President, explained Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN), needs to “focus on America’s future and start moving in a direction of fiscal accountability and transparency.”
“We need a little adult leadership in the White House,” added Rep. Billy Long of Missouri.
Toward the end of the event, Senator Mike Lee took the podium, highlighting the country’s fiscal situation and making it clear that swift action is required to deal with our looming debt and deficits. “Our best days are ahead of us,” he promised, “but we have to act now.”