The Washington Times - October 17, 2013, 07:24AM

Sen. Angus King compared Congress on Thursday to a kid who hits his head against a tree and explains that he does it because “it feels so good when I stop.”

Mr. King, Maine independent who caucuses with Democrats, said he wasn’t thrilled that lawmakers had to strike an 11th-hour deal to raise the debt limit through February and that the ultimate funding bill only lasts through January.

SEE RELATED: Back in business: Obamacare undented as shutdown ends, debt default avoided

“I didn’t like that we had to do it, and I didn’t like that it was so short,” Mr. King told CNN’s “New Day.”

Mr. King said the hard work will begin when both chambers send budget conferees to hammer out lasting fiscal reforms based on budget plans passed earlier this year in the Republican-led House and Democrat-controlled Senate.

“It’s not like there are minor differences,” Mr. King said of the parties’ priorities, but added that there are elements of the plans that can make a big difference in the long run.

“If it were easy, it would have been done a long time ago,” he told CNN.