Democrats have long assailed House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) for capitulating to the most conservative faction of the GOP, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) reportedly turned that criticism up several notches earlier this week.
“He’s a coward,” Reid told Democratic senators, according to Politico. “He’s a coward!”
Boehner is facing mounting pressure from both Democrats and moderate Republicans to stand up to the tea party wing of his caucus and help end the government shutdown. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Wednesday that Boehner is Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) “puppet.”
Reid, who has crossed Boehner before, said Thursday that the speaker reached out last month to to show support for a “clean” continuing resolution — one that does not undermine the Affordable Care Act — in order to prevent a shutdown.