“Something has gone terribly wrong,” said Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, “when the biggest threat to our American economy is the American Congress.”
“Hats off to the president — he won,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said ruefully on Sunday.
“This is one of the lowest points of the U.S. Senate,” Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, Democrat of Maryland, remarked as she ticked off what she said were other nadirs in a long Senate career. “This is what we’re doing to ourselves.”
Representative Bill Huizenga of Michigan, a freshman Republican who has enjoyed the highs of his party’s hard-fought victories and remains in defiance of Democrats even as that dominance has crumbled, found himself on Sunday in a place he has come to know well — the middle of an impasse. “I feel like I’m trapped in ‘Groundhog Day,’ ” Mr. Huizenga said.
A Sunday session on the eve of New Year’s Eve was marked by confusion, acrimony and a fair amount of sitting around waiting for things that never happened….On the Senate side, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, took to the floor at midday to proclaim the talks all but finished, shocking even some Democrats. Later he said, well, maybe they were not. Mr. Reid said he had made a counteroffer to the most recent one offered by his Republican counterpart, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Then his aides said he had been sort of joking.
Oh, joking. Are we amused?
Happy New Year.