Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) objected Wednesday to a Democratic proposal to fund the government and form a budget conference committee.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) offered Republicans an opportunity to go to conference on a budget after the House passes the Senate continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through Nov. 15.
“Speaker [John] Boehner can end this legislative shutdown today,” Reid said. “We’re saying we’ll go to conference on anything you want to go to conference on.”
The government has been shut down since midnight Tuesday because lawmakers can’t agree on a CR to fund the government. House Republicans have tried to attach riders to defund and delay ObamaCare, but Senate Democrats have said they would only accept a “clean” CR.
This was the 19th time Senate Democrats have asked to form a budget conference committee.
“I am so disappointed that the Republicans are saying 'hold the country hostage' and that’s the place we’re left in,” said Murray, who serves as chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee.
Toomey pointed out that Democrats rejected an offer from the House to form a conference committee on the CR. Democrats objected, saying because the government was already shut down, a conference on the CR would be like “negotiating with a gun to our head.”
“Let’s go to conference immediately as the House has requested so we can open the government,” Toomey said. “Let’s try to break the impasse by going to conference.”