U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Friday that Washington’s October of dysfunction was “incredibly challenging, difficult, divisive [and polarized.”
But that’s not all. “I could keep going,” she said, adding vitriolic and poisonous.
The Weston Democrat said the resolution, a temporary budget and short-term increase in the nation’s borrowing authority, were difficult to achieve because of the tea party, which she sharply criticized in an interview with the Sun Sentinel editorial board.
“Tea party affiliated Republicans are hell bent on my way or the highway politics [and] refuse to acknowledge that perhaps every belief they subscribe to is not 100 percent correct,” she said. “The tea party treats their opposition like the enemy, and when they think I’m wrong, I’m not just wrong, I’m a liar.”
She was softer, though still critical of Republicans who voted with Democrats to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. She said they displayed some “courage,” but it came late in the partial government shutdown, which stemmed from an effort by conservatives to delay or kill the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.
Wasserman Schultz avoided what she the kind of rhetoric used by the House Democratic campaign committee, which labeled U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, a “partner in a reckless and irresponsible political game.”
“I’m not going to direct any animus toward Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen. We have a good working relationship and it’s important for South Florida that we maintain those good relationships. And I have said we’ve got to turn down the vitriolic rhetoric,” Wasserman Schultz said.
Wasserman Schultz, who is chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, didn’t hold back criticism of Republican leaders. She said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, could better lead his fractious caucus if he’d “go see the wizard and find some courage. You have to be less consumed with holding onto power and more concerned with doing the right thing.”
Wasserman Schultz said the rollout of the Obamacare online health exchange hasn’t been as disastrous as many people think.
The Obama administration hasn’t released figures, but the research firm Millwad Brown Digital reported 3.7 million people attempted to register during the first week and just 36,000, or 1 percent, were successful.
She said “problems, glitches, obstacles” are inevitable with a complex new system. “That happens with apps when they’re released all the time and tech companies don’t just decide to scrap the whole plan. What do they do? They upload version 2 and version 3 with bug fixes, and we don’t all raise holy hell over the fact that there were a few bugs in a new app that was released.”
She said plans by some congressional Republicans to investigate the problems are “a witch hunt. The Republicans that are leading the Government Oversight Committee, that is what they wake up every single day trying to do. What’s the new witch hunt of the day that they can use to undermine President Obama and his administration.”Copyright © 2015, CT Now