Reid Smacks Back At Gregg’s Obstruction Memo

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took direct aim at Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH)–ranking member on the Budget Committee–for authoring a detailed memo advising Republicans on the procedural tricks they can use to delay health care legislation.

“[T]he Republican plan we’ve waited weeks and months to see [is] not even about health care at all,” Reid said on the Senate floor this morning. “The first and only plan Senate Republicans could be bothered to draft is an instruction manual on how to bring the Senate to a screeching halt.”

“The Senate might be interested to learn that the architect behind this blueprint is none other than the Ranking Member of the Budget Committee, the senior Senator from New Hampshire,” Reid said. “It’s worth noting that this Senator – who, more than any other, often speaks publicly about how to properly use citizens’ tax dollars – has now signed his name to a plan with the explicit goal of wasting the taxpayer’s time and money.”

Gregg, for his part, says he’s just advising his colleagues of the Senate rules. “It is ironic, is it not, that the Majority Leader would could to the floor and complain about an innocuous statement which outlines the rules that members of the Senate have–a statement which I suspect he would actually pass out to his members for information were they in the minority.”

“I just find the irony of the situation so unique,” Gregg said, “that a memo which outlines what the rights are of all members–members in the minority specifically because the rules are meant to protect the minority from the majority. That’s the tradition of our government, of course, which seems to be an affront to the Majority Leader at this point.”

Gregg’s memo does advise Republicans of their rights under the rules of the Senate, but with the aim of informing them of how “delay is created.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com
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