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October 20, 2014

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Reid cuts a nerve with attack on Republican filibusters

WASHINGTON _ Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid showed one again his best punches these days are the verbal ones.

This has been one of those weeks where the infighting between the two parties is so bad in the upper chamber that the senators are fighting about fighting.

Democrats call Republicans obstructionists, claiming they are setting new records (again) for filibusters that drag out debate or outright block votes. Reid has put the new number at 72.

Republicans concede they have been adept at blocking bills they believe are bad, but put the number much lower. They say Democrats are exaggerating.

Reid, believing he had touched a nerve with Republicans, pulled out a slasher of a metaphor during his Thursday press conference as he tried to settle the score.

“Is it 72? Is it 65?” Reid asked, a dark blue poster with the litany of procedural moves highlighted in neon yellow behind him.

“It’s like when you’re charged with aggravated assault and a plaintiff says, You stabbed somebody 72 times, and he said, I did not -- it’s 65 times.”

Reid added, “If it’s not 72 it’ll soon get there.”

Republicans were not amused.

The Republican National Committee dashed off a press release, while a Republican senator took to the floor to complain “that kind of rhetoric is over the top.”

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