If you’re confused as to why U.S. lawmakers have made no progress in coming up with a deal to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff,” a combination of tax increases and deep spending cuts set to take effect next year unless Congress comes up with a budget plan, it might have to do with the fact that both parties deeply dislike and distrust each another.

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), for example, while criticizing Republicans leaders for using the nation’s debt limit as a tool in budget negotiations, compared them to a psychotic parent who would use the life of their child as a bargaining chip.

“It’s somewhat like taking your child hostage and saying to somebody else, ‘I’m going to shoot my child if you don’t do what I want done.’ You don’t want to shoot your child. There’s no Republican leader that wants to default on our debt — that I’ve talked to — so that ought to be non-partisan,” Hoyer said.

Rep. Hoyer lambasted GOP leaders for opposing an increase in the debt limit, arguing that similar increases in the past have made it possible for the U.S. to “pay its bills.”

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

Featured image courtesy Getty Images.