Posted By RichC on July 22, 2011
Feinstein complains about lack of communication from WH
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) unloaded on the White House this morning for keeping Senate Democrats in the dark about the Obama-Boehner budget talks.
Feinstein told reporters that she lost her cool in a Senate Democrat meeting Thursday with OMB Director Jack Lew. She accused him of not giving straight answers.
“I don’t lose my cool; I lost it yesterday,” she said.
She said she’s never seen frustration higher among rank and file Democrats — that senators only know about the Obama-Boehner talks from what they’re reading in the papers.
“I like to know what I’m doing, and I can’t get any information and it’s very frustrating, It’s very hard. It’s easy to pass something and then a year or so later ‘oh my god’ I didn’t realize I did that.”
“We need to know what the cuts are, how they happen,” she said.
Feinstein threw her support behind the Reid–McConnell legislation with a mandate for the “Gang of Six” bipartisan budget work included.
On how President Obama has handled his relationship with the Senate, she said testily: “I know what he’s trying to do, but he has to keep his team advised. Whether you like it or not, people have to feel they’re part of it.”
“I represent a huge state where huge numbers of people are dependent on this.”
Feinstein insisted that Democrats will not vote for legislation that doesn’t include revenues and a specific amount upfront.
“You have to know that revenues are going to be a part of it, in other words ‘X’ amount will be revenues, or there is no agreement.”
She predicted that Obama and Boehner would have to unveil a plan this weekend given the short number of days until the Aug. 2 deadline.