Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday called fellow Sen. Ted Cruz the “schoolyard bully” after they sparred over how to proceed on the budget.
Mr. Cruz was trying to block Mr. Reid’s efforts to get a conference committee going to work out differences with the House over the two chambers’ budgets, and Mr. Reid was becoming incensed with the lack of progress.
“My friend from Texas is like the schoolyard bully,” Mr. 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.”
Mr. Cruz, a freshman senator, was trying to constrain the way a conference would be run to prevent Democrats from raising the debt limit, but Mr. Reid said that was unfair since Mr. Cruz was on the losing end of the budget debate and shouldn’t be allowed to dictate the terms of a final deal.
The exchange got testy when Mr. Cruz then tried to explain himself further and Mr. Reid cut him off, telling him he didn’t have a right to speak at that point in the debate.
Under Senate rules Mr. Reid was correct, and there was no debate allowed. But interjecting comments into the debate the way Mr. Cruz did is a regular informal practice of the Senate, and in fact Mr. Reid just moments earlier had used that technique when he called Mr. Cruz a bully.