Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) shot down an objection from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) Monday, calling him a "schoolyard bully" for trying to insert instructions into Senate budget negotiations that would prohibit raising taxes or the debt ceiling.
"My friend from Texas is like a schoolyard bully," Reid said. "He pushes everybody around and is losing, and instead of playing the game according to the rules, he not only takes the ball home with him but changes the rules. That way no one wins except the bully who tries to indicate to people he has won. We’re asking Republicans to play by the rules and let us go to conference."
"I object too, but what my friend suggests is fairly ridiculous if you want the truth -- before we go to conference determine what you do and not do in the conference, that's not how we do things around here," he continued.
Cruz responded, "I wasn't aware we were in a schoolyard."
"There's either an objection or no objection," Reid shot back. "We've had enough of reserving the right to object."
"Reserving the right to object," said Cruz.
"Mr. President, there is no such thing," Reid said.
Cruz finally objected.
The exchange came after Reid tried to move toward "regular order," in which Senate Republicans appoint budget conferees to negotiate with the House, which passed its own budget resolution.
The Senate passed a budget on March 23, neutralizing a key Republican talking point that the Senate had not passed a budget. The bill passed 50-49 with no Republican votes and increased taxes.
Cruz, like many Republicans, had criticized the Senate for not passing a budget. "As you know, we haven't had a budget in over three years," he said on Fox News in November 2012, before taking office. "I think if the Democrats want to pursue big government policy, they ought to vote on it. They've got to go on record and say this is what we want to do, this is our budget."