The two parties' Saturday radio addresses tend to be gentle, if pointed, recitations of policy. Not this week.
"It has become disturbingly clear that the Obama-Reid shutdown is no longer about health care, or spending, or ideology. It’s about politics, plain and simple," said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the Republicans' number two-ranking leader.
"The Democrats have calculated that by prolonging the shutdown, and maximizing the pain, they can bully Republicans into doing whatever President Obama and Majority Leader Reid want them to do. It’s a very cynical game, but Democrats have decided to play it."
And so, he said in the weekly address, “All Republicans can do is to continue promoting common-sense solutions that would end the shutdown and allow us to move forward. Hopefully our friends across the aisle will eventually get tired of playing politics. Hopefully they’ll remember that neither house of Congress can set the national agenda all by itself."
Cornyn then explained his points:
"House Republicans have repeatedly sent over legislation that would fund federal operations, but Senate Democrats have rejected each and every bill. They’re effectively arguing that the House bills are simply illegitimate, because they contain policy measures that the Democrats don’t like."
House Republicans have spent much of the week passing legislation to open different parts of the government. Democrats have largely rejected the piecemeal approach.
So why not talk more, Cornyn asked.
“But what normally happens when the two parties disagree on policy is a negotiation. Each side gives up a little and gets a little, and you wind up with a bipartisan compromise. The problem right now is that Senate Democrats are refusing to negotiate. Here’s a partial list of what they have unanimously rejected:
“They’ve rejected a one-year delay in Obamacare’s health-insurance mandate for individuals and families, even though the Administration has already delayed the mandate for employers.
“They’ve rejected a bill that would force Members of Congress to obey the same health-care laws as everyone else.
“They’ve also rejected a bill that would abolish Obamacare’s medical-device tax, even though a majority of their caucus expressed support for repeal back in March. In other words, most Senate Democrats voted against the medical-device tax when it didn’t matter, and then voted to keep the tax when it did."