On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) called conservatives opposed to funding Obamacare “Tea Party anarchists” and “radical” “extremists” who are trying to take the “federal government and the economy hostage.”
Reid made his remarks on the Senate floor as he asked for unanimous consent to move the Senate into executive session to set up confirmation of judicial nominees. Reid’s comments were in regard to the short-term resolution the House passed last week that would fund the government except for Obamacare. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), one of the leading proponents of the defunding Obmacare strategy, objected to Reid’s request for unanimous consent. Cruz has also called on Republicans to oppose giving Reid a 51-vote threshold to add Obamacare funding back into the bill.
“I object,” Cruz said as Reid looked on with annoyance. “You asked for consent, and I object.”
Reid said there is an “anarchy movement afoot” and that Democrats would not “bow to Tea Party anarchists” and “fanatics” who want to defund Obamacare, which Reid said would be the law of the land so long as Obama was President and he was Majority Leader. He said conservatives who wanted to defund Obamacare were engaged in “hostage taking.”
Reid’s rhetoric is reminiscent of comments made by MSNBC reporter Luke Russert last week in which Russert called the Republican strategy for defunding Obamacare a “terror America” strategy.
Reid, who has the lowest approval rating among Congressional leaders, said the short-term resolution the House passed would move through the Senate “as quickly as Tea Party Republicans will allow” this week.
Reid blasted the “Tea Party anarchists” for opposing a law he claimed that a “vast majority” Americans were satisfied with even though a Pew Research/USA Today poll released last week found that 53% of Americans disapproved of Obamacare while only 42% approved of the law.
He then cited the establishment Republicans who gave Reid ammunition by making comments opposing Cruz and the defunding Obamacare strategy, which Reid said was “foolhardy.”