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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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September 30th, 2013
07:05 PM ET

Democratic senator: GOP is governing by bullying

The U.S. Senate voted to reject the Republican government funding bill, which included a one-year delay of the president's health care law, so-called Obamacare, Monday afternoon.

The latest provision of the House bill included getting rid of Obamacare's medical device tax, a move that did win majority, bipartisan support in the Senate earlier this year.

So why not concede on that one point?

"Because of the way it's being done. It's basically extortion," said Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, of New York. "They basically send us a bill and say unless you do what we want, we're going to shut down the government."

"This is government by bullying," said Schumer. "You give in to a bully once, they'll ask for more, and more, and more."

If the Senate conceded on the medical device tax, said Schumer, then "hard right wing" Republicans would make steep demands on future negotiations over the debt ceiling, or government funding.

"You cannot govern with a gun to your head. You cannot govern when somebody says, 'I am going to hurt more than 800,000, millions of innocent people, unless you do it exactly my way,'" said Schumer.

The Democratic senator said he would welcome a debate on the medical device tax, but that there is a time and place for such a debate.

House Republicans' tactic of threatening to shutdown the government or not raise the debt ceiling unless they get what they want is also unprecedented, said Schumer.

"I have never seen anything like this," said Schumer, saying that while government shutdowns have happened before, they have never happened quite like this.

"They never shut down where one side said, 'Unless I get my way, I'm going to shut down the government.' There have been a bunch of them where they were debating an extraneous issue," said Schumer.

For more of our interview with Sen. Chuck Schumer, watch the video above.

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