Obama to Meet With Hill Leaders on Shutdown

Will huddle at White House as government ends second day of shutdown

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Larry Downing / Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 1, 2013.

President Barack Obama will huddle with congressional leaders at the White House on Wednesday evening to try find a way out of the first government shutdown in 17 years.

House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accepted Obama’s invitation to a 5:30 p.m. meeting, a White House official said. Obama and Democratic leaders have been adamant that they won’t negotiate over Republican demands to use the shutdown—and a looming debt ceiling increase—to defund or delay the new health care reform law. But Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said he hopes the meeting signals a softening of that stance.

“We’re pleased the president finally recognizes that his refusal to negotiate is indefensible,” Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said. “It’s unclear why we’d be having this meeting if it’s not meant to be a start to serious talks between the two parties.”

But White House Press Secretary Jay Carney deflated that possibility when he said Wednesday afternoon that Obama isn’t coming to the table to negotiate, but rather just to meet. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew will brief lawmakers on the risks of not raising the debt ceiling when the country’s reaches its borrowing limit later this month, Carney said.

McConnell spokesman Don Stewart said that, “frankly, we’re a little confused as to the purpose of this meeting.”

The government has been in partial shutdown since Tuesday morning.

46 comments
Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

"Senator? You can have my answer now, if you like. My final offer is this: nothing"

jsfox
jsfox

"What is our present condition? We have just carried an election on principles fairly stated to the people. Now we are told in advance, the government shall be broken up, unless we surrender to those we have beaten, before we take the offices. In this they are either attempting to play upon us, or they are in dead earnest. Either way, if we surrender, it is the end of us, and of the government. They will repeat the experiment upon us ad libitum." 

A partial quote from Lincoln's letter to Hon. J. T. Hale Springfield, Ill. Jan. 11th 1861.

http://quod.lib.umich.edu/l/lincoln/lincoln4/1:268.1?rgn=div2;view=fulltext

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

Mr. President, it is time tio tell them that since the House won't agree to a budget, the electricity will be cut off to save money,  They are sure to appreciate the cost-savings with their concerns about spending money.  They can meet out on the lawn and get to meet some of the people they have put out of work which means actually taking responsibility for their actions with the people they have impacted.  And then it is time to timetable shutting down air traffic control, ports and customs.  Let American business, which has stood by and let the GOP act like fools, get inviolved. It won't hurt the middle class sinec the business types sent theri jobs overseas years ago so only the upper end of the income range will be impacted until the stores empty out (I estimate maybe a month with Walmart's just-in-time inventory system). The good news is that the real spirit of Christmas might return with lots of home-made stuff.

Icansee4miles
Icansee4miles

Beware, for we are now falling into a nightmare, as foretold in the first page of Amazon Kindle's new thriller, The Bahrain Protocol:

"The Reporter uneasily sensed as well that the world was heading for the cliff at the worst possible time; for the United States had exhausted itself waging the war on terrorism, and its government was riven with poisonous partisan discord."

Now fiction becomes a Dark Reality; and Israel, not trusting the U.S. government's resolve to stop the Iran nuke, will strike with a new partner-Saudi Arabia.  Hope for the best; and prepare for the worst.

pcowdin
pcowdin

Mr. President: No negotiations, for the same reason the FBI doesn't negotiate with kidnappers.  Speaker Boehner's absurd false equivalency is starting to get tiresome. You have the support of about 8 out of 10 Americans who believe the GOP has over-reached and should pass a clean CR without delay. Don't blow it by giving them anything. Period.

ApostasyUSA
ApostasyUSA

Next the Democrats will have to put Social Security on the table.....and then Medicare. With every debt ceiling debate will be another reason for Republicans to dig into their bag of, "what they hate" and say that is the next reason to shut it down.  

In May 2007, 140 Democrats in the House of Representatives voted to defund the Iraq war. At that time, approval of the Iraq war was polled at 33% in favor and 64% against. In September of the same year, Congress voted to increase the debt limit.  

Imagine if Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats had threatened to breach the debt ceiling unless Republicans agreed to defund the war? Democrats wanted to stop a war over non-existent WMDs, vs. Republicans stomping their feet over health care for millions of Americans.  

How do you think the media would have treated Democrats had they held our country's credit rating to the fire to get what they want?  

Remember when Romney was going to win in a landslide, Obamacare was going to be ruled unconstitutional, and tax cuts for rich people create jobs? As usual Republicans don’t know up from down.


AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

So, Speaker Boehner's spokesman said this; "We’re pleased the president finally recognizes that his refusal to negotiate is indefensible. It’s unclear why we’d be having this meeting if it’s not meant to be a start to serious talks between the two parties.”

Seriously?  Boehner would say that at this time?  What does he think he's going to gain by trying to publicly chastise the President?  Where was Boehner for the past year when he stoutly refused to hold Senate-House Conferences on the budget?  Of course he called for one at the 11th hour before the government shut down so he could point his finger at Reid and accuse him of not negotiating. Hypocrite!

These people make me sick!

j45ashton
j45ashton

Here's the conversation by 6pm.

Obama:  I believe in the 2 party system.  The GOP is tearing itself apart.  It's not up the democrats to help the GOP and I'm not going to give inch on any of the changes to the law.  However, tell me what you feel you need to do to save face without changing the law now & I'll try to help. (Maybe this would be a public promise  to revisit aspects of the law for change within a certain time frame.)

 Boehner & McConnell:  We'll have to think about it.

Boehner & McConnell encounter the press.  Big decision time.  If they just say "Obama said he wouldn't negotiate", that's the end.  There will be nothing more offered.  Also, with the debt ceiling coming up, if the GOP wants to show some real leadership, they'll indicate that they aren't going to put the nation through all this misery again.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

"McConnell spokesman Don Stewart said that, “frankly, we’re a little confused as to the purpose of this meeting.”

Really? Obviously, it's so that the stink of traitorous intransigence stays where in belongs; squarely on Republicans. Some politician.

singhsagh
singhsagh

 “We’re pleased the president finally recognizes that his refusal to negotiate is indefensible,” Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said. “It’s unclear why we’d be having this meeting if it’s not meant to be a start to serious talks between the two parties.”’

Indefensible? LOL! Obama is calling this meeting so the Teapublicans will save some faces as don't have any card left to play so they decided to dug in dragging the whole country down with them to its destruction.

DwDunphy
DwDunphy

Watch as Boehner never even shows up.

Mr.Wallingford
Mr.Wallingford

The GOP got nearly everything they wanted with the "Sequester"--now they're just being greedy. Guess some elephants have better memories than others.

notsacredh
notsacredh

“We’re pleased the president finally recognizes that his refusal to negotiate is indefensible,” Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said.

And Boehner's willingness to grovel before the baggers and risk the economic recovery while putting hundreds of thousands of federal employees out of work just so the baggers can crow before the hometown rubes is defensible? And this folks is why I think the GOP is a lost cause and we'd be better off without them.

cent-fan
cent-fan

I hope Obama is simply going to say that he'll delay Obamacare for one year in exchange for a complete Federal assault weapons ban and a constitutional amendment for gay marriage... and throw in a phase out of all government purchases of fossil fuels in the next twenty-five years.  I also hope he tells Boehner and McConnell that his press statement after the meeting will say they were very receptive to the idea. 

fitty_three
fitty_three

@jsfox 

Sounds remarkably like this excerpt:

"If we get in the habit where a few folks, an extremist wing of one party ... are allowed to extort concessions based on a threat of undermining the full faith and credit of the United States, then any president that comes after me ... will find themselves unable to govern effectively"

Three guesses who said it.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@Icansee4miles  

I prefer to look on the bright side:

After the "Dark Reality" comes to pass, there will be plenty of good sales on camping and emergency equipment!

BryanJensen
BryanJensen

@pcowdin My President, please listen for once.  Much of America is not behind you.

BryanJensen
BryanJensen

@ApostasyUSA Suspending government programs because there is no money will help the government's credit rating, not  hurt it.  Creditors like responsibility.

BryanJensen
BryanJensen

@shepherdwong The Democrats will place the blame on the Republicans, the Republicans will place the blame on the Democrats.  Eventually one side will win with their budget.  The country remains deeply divided.  Welcome to Obama's divided nation.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@shepherdwong 

Yeah, because the whole shutting the government down over holding our economy hostage for their pet projects that they can't legislate through normal channels have gone so well.

I'm sure that'll confuse the heck out of a bunch of teabillies but it's pretty plain for regular folks. You negotiate about spending, then you pay the bills without drama.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@sacredh 

I find the speaker more contemptible then most teabillies. They're just a bunch of uneducated 'tards put in power by their peers. I don't expect much from people like that. They're there to cash out and turn lobbyist when they have fooled enough rubes and move on.

But the speaker? He's just downright a slimy arse. Earlier he said this was bad tactics, now to keep his job he bends over and let them take turns on him. Then he comes out in media and pretend it's the dems fault for not help him take turns over the table.

Sorry speaker - you want the job, you can enjoy the treatment.

jsfox
jsfox

@cent-fanYou cannot delay Obamcare for one year. You give the Republicans another year and they will demand it be killed.


And lets keep in mind the Republicans already go what they wanted on spending with sequestration.

TimWoolsey
TimWoolsey

That is how negotiations work!  How about a reduction in military expenditures of 50% over the next 5 yrs, and then tie the level of military funding to GDP.  How about strip all tax support for big oil?  How about raising SS tax collected to full income not just first 100 or so thousand. How about raising the top tax bracket to 50%?  How about taxing corporations at the levels people pay (since corporations are people too)?  Let's negotiate!

MrObvious
MrObvious

@BryanJensen @pcowdin 

Define Much. You're looking at about 70% that think it's bad to shut down the government over Obamacare.

I don't know what your definition of much is but that's a fairly substantial majority.

PaulDirks
PaulDirks

@BryanJensen @ApostasyUSA You are clearly confused. Creditors like reliability not responsibility. They actually make more money when people slow-pay.


jsfox
jsfox

@BryanJensen @shepherdwong Obama's? Let see days after the 2008 election Mitch McConnell and friends got together and decided their only mission was to make Obama fail. Not get the country back on it's feet, not to be the loyal opposition, but to basically admit they were not going to partake in governing in fact quite the opposite.


So before saying welcome to Obama's divided nation you might want to take a hard look at what the Republicans have been up to for the past 5 1/2 years.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@BryanJensen @shepherdwong 

Yes, I as a liberal place the blame squarely on GOP. More accurately the teabillies. Because it's their fault. Not because I as a liberal says so, but because we don't negotiate when the bills comes due. Civics 101 - in a democracy you negotiate over the bills. Some times you win some, sometimes you don't and sometimes you find an amicable solution. But that's over bills. Once they come due you pay them. Or suffer the consequence of currency instability.

It's not a hard concept.

Personally I don't care whom the GOP blame. They wanted this fight because they lack the political power to repeal stuff and the reason they do that is because more voters trusted Obama and the Dems in 2012 then they did GOP. That's also a consequence of democracy.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@BryanJensen "Welcome to Obama's divided nation."

The CR that John Boehner refuses to bring up for a vote is the Republican budget. And no one is dividing the nation except "conservative" Republicans, from Nixon's Southern strategy to right-wing racist hate mongers like Rush Limbaugh and FOX News. Get your head out of the elephant's @ss.

@work
@work

Very well illustrated...

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

@jsfox @cent-fan And that the CR is funding at sequestration levels. Once they get back to work, they need to deal with that.

DwDunphy
DwDunphy

@TimWoolsey No, that's not how negotiations work. Here's how: You see things my way, and i see things my way.

jsfox
jsfox

@shepherdwong @jsfox Of course you are right. Why else would people keep believing that the Republicans are the fiscally responsible party when all the numbers say quite the contrary.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@jsfox "...you cannot be this economically and fiscally clueless."

Yes, yes he can. In fact, about a third of the country is equally clueless. That's why we're in the mess we're in.

PaulDirks
PaulDirks

@MrObvious @BryanJensen @ApostasyUSA Creditors profit more when people borrow than when they don't. Not carrying debt results in a lower credit rating than carrying lots of debt and making regular payments.


MrObvious
MrObvious

@DwDunphy @TimWoolsey 

You don't negotiate when the bills comes due. If GOP had the political power to pass bills they would. But they can't. So they use this to force the dems to take their pet projects.

And that's not how the democratic process works.