There was a tense exchange on the steps of the Capitol Building yesterday when Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray confronted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) over the government shutdown following a press conference.
“So we were just talking about an amazing story on Harry Reid. I don’t know how this guy lives with himself. I really don’t,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “The mayor of D.C. says come to Harry Reid and said, ‘All right., you got to stop this nonsense because the Republicans have passed everything. The Republicans have passed the funding for everything.’”
The confrontation most likely arose from the fact that Democrats opposed a stand-alone District funding bill that would have allowed D.C. to stop operating off of its contingency reserve funds.
“So yesterday, the Mayor of D.C. is in this swarm of reporters. Harry Reid went to a couple of different events yesterday, and they were only like 50 yards from each other. And the Mayor of D.C. accosted him at both of them,” Pat explained. “Here’s one of the exchanges that was caught by reporters. All the Mayor of D.C. is saying is that we are not a department of the government. We have our own money.”
“Sir, we are not a department of the government,” Gray told Reid after concluding his news event and then crashing another about 50 yards away, where Reid and other Senate Democrats were talking to reporters. “We’re simply trying to be able to spend our own money.”
Reid (Nev.) responded defensively in front of a bank of cameras and reporters: “I’m on your side. Don’t screw it up, okay? Don’t screw it up.”
The tension came after the Republican-controlled House voted last week to pass a bill allowing the District to use its locally raised tax funds to maintain operations until Dec. 15. Democrats, including Reid and President Obama, have held fast in opposition to piecemeal funding bills, saying Republicans must come to a deal to fund the entire government, not just favored segments.
“This is amazing,” Glenn said. “And everybody knows this.”
Front page image courtesy of the AP