Sen. Tom Harkin said Friday that the tea party movement is trying to create “confusion and chaos” in the ongoing debate on Capitol Hill in hopes of pushing their minority view on Congress and bolstering their chances of winning more power in the next election.
Speaking from the Senate floor, Mr. Harkin, Iowa Democrat, called on “moderate Republicans” and “responsible conservatives” to stop catering to this “small band of ideologues” and likened the behavior of tea party backed lawmakers to a child who throws a temper tantrum when they don’t get their way.
“We can’t afford the temper tantrums of a few ideologues,” Mr. Harkin said. “This is not a game and hopefully we are not children.”
Mr. Harkin was alluding to the effort of Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah to do whatever they can to muck up Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s plan to pass a continuing funding resolution that includes funding for Obamacare.
Mr. Harkins comments came as members of the Senate geared up for a procedural vote, known as cloture, on a House bill that would fund the government past the fiscal year, which ends Monday, and withhold funding for Obamacare.
GOP opponents warn that a “yes” vote will pave the way for Mr. Reid, Nevada Democrat, to strip the defunding provision from the House bill.
Mr. Cruz, Mr. Lee and 13 other Senate Republicans have called on their colleagues to vote against cloture.
There are 46 Republicans in the Senate.