Sen. Mike Johanns complains that the United States Senate is wasting time even with big issues before it.
Johanns says the biggest issue before Congress is the impending double-hit to the economy. Bush-era tax cuts expire at the end of the year unless Congress acts. A special deal to resolve the debt ceiling impasse broke down and automatic budget cuts go into effect at the beginning of the year. Some economists say the combination will drive the economy off a fiscal cliff.
Johanns, a Republican, accuses the Senate leader, Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada, of postponing significant legislative work until after the November elections. Johanns says Reid is attempting to shield fellow Democrats from casting hard votes that could turn off voters in November. Johanns charges that Reid is taking total control of the process in the Senate.
Johanns predicts important work will be postponed until after the November elections.
“Mark my word on that. And then, we’re going to come back in November. Everybody is going to have their hair on fire, running around, ‘The sky is falling, the sky is falling,’” Johanns says. “And all of this will be crunched into a very brief period of time when we should be working on those issues right now.”
Johanns says the Senate can continue to waste time on political messages or it can work to reduce the debt and pass a budget.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:40]