Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) went on a name-calling tirade against Republicans Monday on the Senate floor, where he blasted "radical" GOP members as hostage takers with "scary" and "bizarre" ideas.
Then, Reid wondered why it's so difficult for the two parties to come together.
Reid started by praising GOP leaders in the House and Senate for saying there will not be a government shutdown when they take control next year. But he said that promise may not be good enough given how some Republicans are talking.
"We've heard there are going to be no government shutdowns from the leaders, but members of their caucuses are really saying some very scary things," Reid said. "So the question is whether Republican leaders will be able to stand up to the radical forces within their own party."
Some Republicans have called on leaders to pass legislation that would prevent President Barack Obama from acting unilaterally on immigration. Republicans have said the ideas Obama is considering would go against the laws as passed by Congress, and that a defunding measure would be an appropriate response.
But Reid compared those Republicans to hostage takers, reflecting the idea that Democrats might oppose the legislative language, and that this fight might hold up government funding.
"Can these Republican leaders stand up to these people who are intent on holding our government hostage?" Reid asked.
Reid also said the fight reveals the "somewhat bizarre — in the minds of most people — ideas" that many Republicans have. He also accused Republicans of making "threats and ultimatums" against Democrats.
While Reid showed no hesitation in mocking Republicans on the floor with words that seem unlikely to help the two sides work together, he then implied that the GOP is missing the message sent by voters in the midterm elections, which is that the parties should work together.
"Just two weeks ago, the American people sent us a very strong message: work together," he said.
Earlier in the day, another Senate Democrat, Barbara Boxer of California, called on Obama to "ignore" Republicans in Congress and move ahead with his own immigration plan through executive action.