House majority leader 'frustrated' by slow pace in Senate
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., lashed out at the Senate on Tuesday, saying he was "very frustrated" by the Senate's slow pace in passing spending bills and legislation.
He added that the holdup in the Senate was to blame for what has become a two-and-a-half-day workweek in the House.
"I'm not going to have people stand here and just twiddle their thumbs" waiting for the Senate to act, Hoyer said.
Hoyer's frustration bubbled over following the Senate's inability last week to round up the 60 votes needed for the Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations bill and problems with the Interior-Environment spending bill.
"We have sent a lot of work to the United States Senate," Hoyer said. In fact, he said, the House had worked long hours to pass all 12 fiscal 2010 spending bills by the end of July and to approve "numerous very substantive pieces of legislation." But few of those bills have moved through the Senate. "We're waiting for them to get back," Hoyer said.
The majority leader took pains to point out that he does not ascribe blame to his Senate counterpart, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
"I want to make it clear, this is not a criticism of Harry Reid," Hoyer said. "It is difficult to get things done in the Senate. It's difficult to move things in the Senate."
A spokesman for Reid declined to comment.
Dan Friedman contributed to this report.