The U.S. Senate Majority Leader is making some jokes at the expense of Kentucky’s senior Senator.
Democrat Harry Reid, speaking Monday at a gathering of the pro-Obama group, Organizing for Action, said Mitch McConnell "tried to make love to the tea party, and they didn’t like it.”
Reid and McConnell have been at odds recently over the GOP’s use of filibusters to prevent some of President Obama’s executive branch nominees from receiving confirmation votes.
Reid’s comments about the Tea Party and McConnell come as speculation mounts about a possible Republican primary challenge against the GOP Senate leader. Some in the Tea Party have criticized McConnell for not being sufficiently conservative on fiscal issues.
Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are reportedly engaged in negotiations over the use of the filibuster. The online journal Politico says Reid is weighing whether to change the filibuster rules with a 51 vote majority, instead of a two-thirds majority.
Democrats, who control the Senate, have long complained about what they consider Republican abuse of the filibuster. It’s become common for members of the Senate to effectively kill legislation and block judicial appointments by just threatening a filibuster.
Both Reid and McConnell say the Senate isn’t functioning as it should, but McConnell says the problem isn’t GOP use of the filibuster.
Some Senators, like Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander, are nervous about changing the rules that govern filibusters.
The negotiations between the Senate leaders is expected to continue Wednesday, with Reid saying he hopes to have a deal in place by Thursday.