CORRECTION: The subheadline of a previous version of this report misstated the title of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy had some choice words in response to an announcement by House Speaker John Boehner that the House of Representatives would predicate a long-term debt-limit increase on the Senate passing a budget that cuts spending. Another incentive from the Republican leader: No budget from the Senate, no paychecks for the senators.
“I like Speaker Boehner, we’ve been longtime friends, but maybe you might want to get your own House in order before you tell us how to run ours,” the Vermont Democrat said during an interview taped on Friday for the C-SPAN show Newsmakers. It will air Sunday.
Leahy paused for a moment before adding, “I say that of course with great respect to my distinguished colleague and longtime friend.”
Boehner’s offer—and challenge to the Senate—came earlier Friday during his closing remarks at the House Republican retreat in Williamsburg, Va. “We are going to pursue strategies that will obligate the Senate to finally join the House in confronting the government’s spending problem,” Boehner said.
Adding insult to injury, Leahy suggested that Boehner’s move was a result of being unable to control the Republican conference.
“I realize he has to play to his base. I mean, this poor guy couldn’t get Sandy relief through at the end of the last Congress,” Leahy said, referring to a $50 billion aid package to assist the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Boehner had to abandon the majority of his conference and join with Democrats to pass the measure.