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Thread: Reid confronts Obama budget director on possible debt deal

  1. #1
    Jeezy's Avatar
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    Reid confronts Obama budget director on possible debt deal

    Reid confronts Obama budget director on possible debt deal -

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) confronted White House budget director Jack Lew during a Thursday afternoon meeting about secret talks on a deficit-reduction deal between the president and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

    “I’m the Senate majority leader — why don’t I know about this deal?” Reid demanded as soon as the budget director walked into the historic Mansfield Room for a meeting with Senate Democrats, according to a lawmaker who witnessed the exchange.

    Lew shot back: “If there’s a deal, then the president doesn’t know about it, the vice president doesn’t know about it and I don’t know about it.

    A Senate Democratic aide confirmed the exchange took place.
    Democrats were outraged about reports that Obama was willing to accept major spending cuts in exchange for reforming the tax code at some point in the future as part of a deal to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.

    Reid and other Democrats warned the administration officials in the meeting that they might not support a deal between Obama and Boehner if kept out of the loop.

    “It was a heated session,” said a senior Democratic senator who attended the lunch. “There’s a basic lack of trust with the president.”

    The lawmaker said the lack of trust stems from what they suspect are secret negotiations taking place between Obama and Boehner, without the input of Reid and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.).

    “Harry’s not being included!” exclaimed the second senator.

    Reid has told Democrats and Democratic allies that he did not have any of the details of a reported $3 trillion deficit-reduction deal coming together between Obama and Boehner.

    The lawmaker said Senate Democrats “can’t be assumed to go along with whatever deal.”

    Senate Democrats grilled Lew about whether the president was holding side talks with Boehner, according to a source who attended Thursday’s meeting.

    Lew was somewhat evasive in his answer, leading some Democrats to conclude that Obama is conducting backchannel talks with Boehner.

    Lew explained that Obama has to be able to negotiate one on one with Boehner if they are to come up with an agreement to raise the debt limit that can pass the House of Representatives.

    “Obama and Boehner can’t put together anything that can pass the House if there are too many people in the room,” said a lawmaker who listened to Lew’s explanation.

    BAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. So literally, NOBODY but maybe Obama and Boehner know if there's a deal at all.

    That's high comedy.
    Last edited by Jeezy; 07-21-11 at 07:12 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Josie
    Thanks for your awesomeness, Jeezy.

  2. #2
    teamosil's Avatar
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    Re: Reid confronts Obama budget director on possible debt deal

    I don't think that whatever they're hatching could be called a deal. Boehner has very little control over the Republicans. Obama has maybe a bit more control over the Democrats, but neither of them can conclusively speak for their parties. At most they're working on a proposal like the ones we've seen from the gang of six for example. But, if they were to agree to something that included revenue increases, spending cuts, and raised the debt ceiling, it would have a pretty good shot of being accepted, or at least modified and then accepted, by both houses. If any of those three elements is missing though, it's dead in the water. If Boehner agrees to revenue increases, he loses the votes of the teabaggers and maybe even some real Republicans, but he can still deliver enough Republican votes to add up to a majority if the Democrats are all on board. That costs him a lot of votes next time they pick a speaker though, so I don't know if he is willing to take that hit.

  3. #3

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    Re: Reid confronts Obama budget director on possible debt deal

    President Obama and top House Republicans are deep in negotiations over a far-reaching plan to save $3 trillion over the next decade through sharp cuts in agency spending and politically painful changes to popular health and retirement programs, but without any immediate increase in taxes, Democratic congressional leaders reported Thursday.

    [C]ongressional Democrats were furious over what they described as the latest twist in White House talks, which they said now appeared to taking an unacceptable turn.

    [C]ongressional Democrats were in a high state of alarm about talks they said were now leading toward a broad deficit-reduction deal that would not immediately include increased revenue. They said this would violate their pledge not to cut benefits for Social Security and Medicare recipients and require them to swallow a deficit-reduction plan that relies solely on spending cuts without raising taxes. Democrats, including Obama, have repeatedly pledged to pursue a deal that contains a “balance” of both spending cuts and revenue increases.

    “There’s no agreement. They’re working toward an agreement,” Reid said, adding that he received a call from a White House official during Thursday’s Democratic meeting that confirmed the president had not reached a final agreement with Boehner. The luncheon meeting included a presentation by White House Budget Director Jacob Lew, who was pilloried by Democrats who contended that Obama was giving away deep cuts to entitlements without any agreement on taxes.

    Reid said his caucus would oppose any plan that did not include increased tax revenue, questioning whether Obama had gone back on his pledge to include “balance” in the final deal. When “we hear these reports of these megatrillion-dollar cuts with no revenues, it was like Mount Vesuvius,” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). “Many of us were volcanic.”

    During the luncheon, Lew denied that such a deal was under discussion, several Democrats said. But when Lew was asked to explain the actual outlines of the talks, “that got a little fuzzy,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).

    Administration officials revealed the substance of the latest White House talks to congressional leaders late Wednesday, after Obama met with Boehner and Cantor, congressional aides said, speaking on condition of anonymity to detail private discussions. The White House acknowledged that the proposed deal is “to the right of the Gang of Six” and far removed from what Democrats have said would be acceptable.

    According to congressional sources, Obama has apparently offered to forgo any tax increases in the initial deal, postponing an overhaul of the tax code until next year. That was also the shape of the old deal, but with one significant exception: Obama had been pressing Republicans to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for middle-class households now, allowing the cuts that benefit the wealthiest households to expire next year. If that part of the bargain were taken off the table, the aides said, Democrats would be left with no guarantee that Republicans would actually follow through with tax reform in the future.
    Obama, GOP leaders said to discuss new debt plan - The Washington Post


    the man can't manage his own party, how's he gonna steer america thru a storm

    he never could, even when he had 60 senators and a 78 seat cushion downstairs, a media thrilled and a whole world rooting for him

    you may agree or disagree with his motives, his objectives

    but it's pretty hard to argue the dude is anything but incompetent

    a rank amateur
    Last edited by The Prof; 07-21-11 at 07:50 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Reid confronts Obama budget director on possible debt deal

    The negotiations are secret and behind closed doors for a reason. The moment any rank and file Congressperson ideologue gets a whiff of things, you'll have anti-entitlement-reform Dems and anti-tax-increase Repubs raising hell and screwing things up, and you'll end up with a repeat of what happened with Cantor a month ago.
    Last edited by StillBallin75; 07-21-11 at 08:33 PM.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
    - Colonel Paul Yingling

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