Gridlock ruled the Senate Wednesday as the two parties bickered over legislation to raise the minimum wage and roll back the gasoline tax.
For the second straight day, Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., offered to combine the two into one measure and vote quickly if Democrats agreed to a vote on changes in labor law strongly opposed by organized labor.Democrats refused, prompting the two sides to blame one another for the slowdown that has brought the Senate's business to a halt.
"This is Democratic gridlock because the labor bosses don't want this to happen," said Dole, the GOP presidential nominee-to-be.
Retorted Sen. Tom Daschle of South Dakota, the Democratic leader, "This has nothing to do with the Democratic minority. This has everything to do with Republicans not allowing the Senate to be the Senate."
The flare-up on the Senate floor came as the House Ways and Means Committee heard from a parade of conservative economists and industry groups pushing for a 4.3-cent-a-gallon cut in the gas tax through Dec. 31.
That was the amount added to the tax in 1993.