Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., a member of the Democratic Senate leadership, got on a conference call with reporters Tuesday morning without realizing the reporters were already listening in. Schumer thought he was on a private line with four Democratic senators who were to talk with reporters about the current budget stalemate.
Schumer instructed the group, made up of Sens. Barbara Boxer of California, Tom Carper of Delaware, Ben Cardin of Maryland and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, to tell reporters that the GOP is refusing to negotiate.
He told the group to make sure they label the GOP spending cuts as "extreme."
"I always use extreme, Schumer said. "That is what the caucus instructed me to use."
The four senators came on the call after Schumer abruptly went silent and followed Schumer's script closely.
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Talks have stalled between congressional Democrats and Republicans trying to negotiate a federal budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, escalating the chances that the government could at least partially shut down next month.◼ Schumer: who is “in the box”? - Roger L. Simon