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Rep. Joe Garcia: 'extremist elements, this Taliban' is blocking budget deal


Looks like the era of conflating terrorism and budget talks isn't going away anytime soon in Congress.

In a speech on the U.S. House floor, Miami Democrat U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia called on Republicans to jettison conservative "Taliban," who have insisted on passing a budget resolution that defunds, delays or degrades Obamacare.

The Democratic controlled Senate says it wants a "clean" budget bill. Neither side is budging. So the government at midnight Tuesday started partially shutting down with the Oct. 1 start of the fiscal year.

"The time has come to put these guys aside," Garcia said, reading his remarks. "We just need our colleagues to step up, push aside these extremist elements, this Taliban."

Garcia's reference is the latest terrorism-related metaphor in the House, where Texas Rep. John Culberson endorsed a GOP plan to fight on by reportedly saying: “I said, like 9/11, ‘let’s roll!’” Liberal outrage ensued.

The last time a congressional Taliban reference made news in Florida was in 2010 when Rep. Alan Grayson ran a misleading ad calling Dan Webster "Taliban Dan." Webster went on to win the race, Grayson has since been reelected to another seat.

The National Republican Congressional Committee and the Republican Party of Florida took exception with the comments.

“Congressman Joe Garcia's remarks on the floor of the United States House of Representatives, equating some of his colleagues to the Taliban, is reprehensible and disgusting,” RPOF Chairman Lenny Curry said.

“Congressman Garcia needs to apologize to his colleagues and all Floridians.”

Garcia said he wasn’t specifically referring to any congressional member or group in congress.

“I’m not referring to any member. I was talking about extremism,” Garcia said. “If anyone is offended, I’m sorry.... As much as people want to call me a bomb-thrower, look at my record. I’m have one of the most, if not the most, moderate voting records in Congress in the Florida delegation.”