Without Negotiating, Obama and Boehner Eye Big Deal

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MICHAEL REYNOLDS / EPA

US Speaker of the House, Republican John Boehner, center, walks to a meeting of House Republicans

President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner may suffer from what one official termed a “trust deficit,” but that is not defeating hopes of a negotiated settlement to this month’s fiscal crises.

While Obama has forsworn negotiation on these issues entirely and Boehner has long said he’s done negotiating one-on-one with the President, that has not stopped aides to both leaders from drawing up potential pathways to a deal, albeit without talking to each other. On both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue, officials are independently planning for a significant compromise to reopen the government and increase the debt limit, according to sources close to House Republicans and the White House.

It’s far from the first time the two leaders have tried to go big, or in the parlance of modern Washington, tried for a “grand bargain.” Beginning with the 2011 debt limit fight, the two leaders have repeatedly come close to a sweeping deficit and spending deal, at one point approaching cutting $4.5 trillion in future spending. Now aides say neither side is considering a solution so large, in part because the nation’s fiscal house is in better shape than two years ago thanks to the cuts and new taxes already implemented.

Under discussion are options to replace the mandatory spending cuts enacted when the super committee failed to reach agreement on deficit reduction in 2011 with a combination of entitlement and tax reforms. Details remain sketchy, and both sides are not as yet ready to engage in direct talks, sources said, relying on informal backchannels and waiting for the shutdown to run into the urgent need to raise the debt limit by the middle of the month.

Boehner has privately told Republicans that he will not allow the nation to default for the first time on it¹s debt, but it remains to be seen how the Speaker will lead his conference to work with Democrats after consistently putting government funding proposals on the floor with little of their support this past month.

Helping the idea move forward is that both sides know what they can put on the table: entitlement reforms, such as chained CPI (which would slow the rate of increase for social security benefits), and an elimination of the medical-device tax, for fixing sequestration cuts and raising the debt limit. These ideas have been floating around Washington for so long that one budget aide said “we just copy and paste” the language into a new bill, meaning a theoretical deal could go from handshake to signature within a couple of days.

There are however two large snags in any potential deal: tax reform and Obamacare. While several tax reform plans have been circulating on Capitol Hill, aides say none is quite ready for primetime. Broad outlines of reform could be agreed to, though Democrats and Republicans will have to reach agreement on whether rewriting the tax code should result in raising new revenues.

“Democrats just fought for almost $700 billion of new revenue seven months ago,” Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), a member of the House Ways and Means committee, told TIME Wednesday. “Their appetite is insatiable, but they have to understand they’re not getting any this time.” Other Republicans have suggested privately that there could be some revenue, from closing loopholes, if rates do not increase.

Republicans must also find a suitable offramp from their insistence on taking a bite out of Obamacare, which led to the current shutdown. They will have to drop demands to defund or delay the law and the individual mandate, but may well be able to get Democrats on board with repealing a small part of the law, a controversial medical device tax.

The White House, meanwhile, would have to back off its steadfast opposition to negotiating over reopening the government or Congress raising the debt limit—a position adopted after two years of serial fiscal battles. “What he won’t do is, as he just said, negotiate with the Republicans while they have the American economy held hostage in—and are trying to extort partisan demands from the economy, from the American people in return for reopening the government or in return for ensuring that we pay our debts,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Friday.

But Carney added that Obama continues to seek a broad agreement with Republicans, and replacing the sequestration cuts and achieving tax reform would far outweigh the cost of turning back on his no-negotiation promise. “What the president has long sought is a broader agreement with Republicans on how we fund our government, what kind of choices we make to ensure that we’re investing in the right areas so that the economy grows and the middle class is expanded and protected,” Carney said. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough was on Capitol Hill Friday meeting with lawmakers.

Working against the idea is the current relationship between congressional leaders. House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan hasn’t spoken to Senate Budget Chairman Patty Murray since before the shutdown, says a Senate aide familiar with the situation. But some believe the time is finally ripe for Boehner to cut a deal, having secured Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s full backing on strategy.

101 comments
StephaniePorter
StephaniePorter

Is everyone really that stuck on themselves not to care what happens to anyone else?


StephaniePorter
StephaniePorter

No! We don't want a dictatorship in the U.S.! We need to throw EVERYONE OUT of the senate and the House of Reps. and install younger folks more open to changes and MORE WILLING to discuss things AS ADULTS!  Both parties need to discuss things and not force any decisions down throats! This whole thing is like a food fight in a school cafeteria! Only the Republicans are throwing "pumpkins" instead of  "mashed potatoes". Obama simply catching those pumpkins before they crash and throwing them back.

chiphenry
chiphenry

What we can't do is allow Obamacare. Whatever else happens can un-happen once we get a situation where Repubs and Dems can sit down and decide how to fix all the health care issues.  There is no reason we can't have kids covered to age 26, and there is no excuse for insurance to install caps, and there needs to be insurance for existing conditions.  What doesn't really have to happen is social medicine.  We have a lot of issues to work through, but we need to open up competition and allow a free market place to work its magic.  There needs to be a better way for the poor to get health care than going to the emergency room.  All this can happen when two parties agree to look at the issue.  I will never ever support more socialistic behavior in this country.  This is a free one.  It's slowly becoming a less free one, but I need to fight with all I have to stop the things that can be stopped, and to do the right thing for all involved.  This Obamacare isn't how to do it, and it's obviously a one-sided attempt.  That too is not the American way.

Gwenjun1
Gwenjun1

Boehner best take control of his House traitors, yes, traitors, for they are preventing the functioning of our government...

CitizenKaykay
CitizenKaykay

If you receive a subsidy from the taxpayers...you should have to give something back...clean a park, clean a highway, something other than getting drunk, getting high, having more kids, etc.  Oh no...my bad...these subhumans have a right to "sponge" off hard working Americans....sorry Liberals.

allenwoll
allenwoll

Chained CPI is just a dressy term for Accounting Fraud  ! ! ! 

Seniors : Do NOT let them do it to you  ! ! 

michaelpetersmith
michaelpetersmith

The reason that the Democrats are pushing for more revenue is that federal tax revenue as a percentage of GDP is lower than it's been since WWII. 

Yes, we should certainly cut spending in areas, but with the implementation of another large entitlement, it is difficult to imagine the budget being cut enough to balance the budget, much less generate enough of a surplus to put a dent in the national debt.

We don't need to raise tax rates. We just need to eliminate loopholes in both corporate and personal income taxes to make them simpler and fairer for everyone. 

We don't need a trillion-dollar tax hike, nor a trillion-dollar budget cut. A few hundred billion of each, coupled with continued growth in GDP (and a little inflation) would have the debt back to manageable levels before the end of the decade.

We can't procrastinate forever. We are spending about 20% of the budget servicing our debt today, when interest rates average less than 2%. Soon they will begin to go up - especially if US debt suffers another downgrade due to our inability to take any steps.

outsider
outsider

Guys guys guys - you left out how Obama has already caved to the GOP. You also neglected to mention (fortunately for you, we'll do it) that ACA is LAW, that was passed by both the House and the Senate, and Obama signed. 

Which was upheld by the SC. 


There is no reason for Obama to negotiate. The House's job is to pass the budget, and pay the bills. 

You also forgot to mention how a minority, within the minority is trying to impose it's policies on the rest of the gov't; completely ignoring the fact that they lost the election. 

This kind of reporting is the reason they think they can get away with it too. 


The false equivalence meme doesn't work this time - no matter how hard you try to talk out of both sides of your mouths. 


Obama caved last time. The GOP own the shutdown. And Obama and the dems would be wise to stand strong until the GOP completely caves - on a long term deal. No more hostage taking. 


wantshonestgovt
wantshonestgovt

Nobody,save the obama cronies,will ever have quality healthcare again in our nation due to the communist transformation tactic obamacare! It's not about healthcare,come on sheeple,since when does this govt care anything about the taxpayers other than the money that it can fleece from them! obamacare=govt control of the citizenry! reid said it himself,it is a must to CONTROL the people!

KenPraeger
KenPraeger

WHY DON'T THEY GIVE THE INDIVIDUAL MANDATE A ONE YEAR OPTION, WHERE THERE WILL BE NO PENALTY , BUT WHOEVER WANTS TO SIGN UP ,CAN STILL SIGN UP..

RonM
RonM

Any shut down supporters, please answer this easy question;  Situation is reversed.  Republicans' control the Presidency and the Senate, the Democrats have the house.  I offer the following to my Republican Senate.  A C.R bill and I add, Immigration with a quick path to citizenship; Taxes on the rich (pick your most annoying number); Strong gun control laws with six months background check and stiff penalties for not registering all guns;  Billions for global warming; strengthen the National Labor Relations act to allow union to organize.  Will you "Negotiate" with me?  Yes, then I'll take it.   NO, O.K., I will "Compromise".  I will take taxing the rich off the table. Now if the Government shuts down it will be the Republicans fault  for not "Negotiating" or "Compromising".  First, will you "Negotiate" or "Compromise"?  Second, with whom do I negotiate?  John Boehner; Ted Cruz? 


rob3
rob3

As a non-native English speaker, I learned a new word today : "postering"

The act of taking a flyer or poster and attaching it to a surface with tacks , tape, magnets...

Mr. Boehner got himself stuck between a rock and a hard place. Of course, if he brings the clean budget bill that was already passed through the Senate to the House floor, and let them VOTE, he will adhere to the will of the American People.
But also Mr. Boehner will loose face.

If he continues his agenda to prevent the House to vote, and do nothing, then he has been given enough power to single-handedly bring down the biggest economy on the planet.

If you have a lot of power by not doing anything, you can do a lot of damage.

Until he makes up his mind, all Boehner can do is "postering".

drdsw4
drdsw4

Raising revenue by closing loopholes and making corporations pay taxes here rather than allowing them to hide off-shore or claim as "foreign" as well as actually making polluters pay the true cost of their environmental debacles and Wall Street pay for destroying the economy and their illegal/"shades of gray" behaviors would bring in more than enough money to reduce the deficit and provide essential programs for the most needy, the working poor, the middle class, and the environment we need to live (air, water, soil)!

Republicans have proven by their actions they are racist, sexist, homophobic haters of our Nation's mixed race President who would rather destroy the government and our country than actually follow the Constitution and their oath of office.  They may not be able to read and comprehend the Preamble,  the Declaration of Independence, and/or the actual Constitution of the United States of America!

MelissaSenger
MelissaSenger

I bet it won't be closing loopholes for corporations or the very rich!!

skylark4
skylark4

Chained CPI is stealth genocide.

j45ashton
j45ashton

There's only one ultimate leverage here: the 2014 elections.  Boehner said this isn't about winning.  Maybe he didn't hear Rand Paul's open mike sound bite.  By Nov 2014 it will be about winning & losing.  The Republicans are doing themselves no favors with independents.  Keep it up, and better get back to gerrymandering.

labman57
labman57

For most of Obama's tenure in office as POTUS, the Republican leadership's concept of compromise -- a key component of any meaningful negotiation -- has been for the opposition to discard their own beliefs and completely embrace the conservative point of view. 


In short, their notion of negotiation has involved capitulation by the opposition­. The source of this unwillingness to find middle ground have been the tea party-affiliated Republicans in Congress who firmly regard any willingness to compromise to be a character flaw. 

Negotiation and compromise are not in their repertoire -- to the wholly dogmatic ideologues of the tea party, "It's our way or the highway". 

And finally, Obama and Congressional Democrats are replying: 
"Right back at ya!"

paulejb
paulejb

"Charter guides received a message from the National Park Service this week informing them that they are not permitted to take clients fishing in Florida Bay until the feds get back to work. That means that more than 1,100 square miles of prime fishing is off limits between the southern tip of the mainland to the Keys until further notice.

The closing affects not only fishing guides, but anyone with a license to conduct business in the park, including tour operators and paddling guides — anyone with a Commercial Use Authorization permit, said Dan Kimball, superintendent of Everglades and Dry Tortugas national parks."

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/10/03/3668028_p2/shutdown-day-3-food-distributor.html

Barack "The Master of Spite" Obama shuts down the seas.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@chiphenry You realize everything you described is exactly what obama care does right?

douglynn23
douglynn23

@michaelpetersmith GDP is not a good number to compare to federal tax revenue because GDP includes all government spending including the federal deficit.  In other words, a 700 billion deficit adds 700 billion to the GDP and a trillion in welfare spending adds a trillion to GDP. How messed up is that? Federal tax revenue compared to private sector GDP would be a much more honest and logical comparison. 

douglynn23
douglynn23

@outsider  We are not that stupid. The House passed a bill to fund everything except the ACA and then funded the ACA but removed the individual mandate. The Senate refused to pass either and send it to the President. The Democrats own it. The House is the people's House and they are doing what a majority of the public wants. The argument that they must fund some law is a fool's lie. Lots of laws are not funded and are not enforced. That is normal politics. Obama sure is not enforcing immigration laws or building the border fence the law requires. Now the President is purposely trying to cause as much pain as possible. How wicked is that? 

Obama said in 2008 the then deficits were irresponsible. Now, his deficits are much worse and even more spending is needed? The deceit and hypocrisy is disgusting. Both parties need to balance the budget today and stop stealing our future prosperity to buy votes from today's selfish and foolish voters. Lots of us are sick and tired of all the charlatan arguments for deficit spending to grow the economy. They are even more wicked and foolish than the tax cuts and tax breaks to that never grow the economy fast enough to justify themselves.

jglugla@mail.com
jglugla@mail.com

Why don't you just put your Rush Limbaugh shirt on and be happy?

barneydidit
barneydidit

@wantshonestgovt Uhmm...OK. First of all, Obamacare uses private insurance to work, so it's not "communist". Secondarily, the government provides Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security etc. to citizens, while prior to Obamacare, insurers, didn't have to provide coverage to anyone they felt might be a good bet to actually require that coverage reasonably soon, so I don't think it's the government that's fleecing people. 

tom.litton
tom.litton

@KenPraeger The individual mandate is the price to get pre-existing conditions covered.  Without it people would just wait until they get sick before getting insurance.  This would force the health insurance companies to set the premiums extremely high since they would be covering only sick people.  You would have to delay the entire law.

Democrats can't do that because they are counting on people liking it once they gain some experience with it.

dhblackstock
dhblackstock

@KenPraeger Because it will keep being delayed a year every time it comes up.  Nope!  This is a CR and not the entire budget and there should be no strings attached from the teabaggers.  Delay it once and it will come up for delay every year.

douglynn23
douglynn23

@RonM  Read some history. Reagan and both Bush President's compromised plenty. Reagan agreed to immigration reforms for spending cuts that never happened creating large deficits even though the economy boomed. Bush one lost an election because he compromised and raised taxes instead of cutting spending. Bush two let Kennedy write a prescription drug law that Obama says is/was unfunded and let the Democrat no-standards-loans that started under Clinton grow and blow up the economy because he didn't want to fight with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.  Republicans always compromise.

barneydidit
barneydidit

@RonM  Yes, when Republicans demand negotiations designed specifically to limit the ability of a ratified federal law to perform its function, they're being patriotic and only have the best interest of the country in mind. If a Democrat demands negotiations on anything a Republican doesn't want...he's "playing politics". 

wantshonestgovt
wantshonestgovt

@MelissaSenger like obamas cronies and supporters and cherry picked corporations that support his communist transformation!

grape_crush
grape_crush

@skylark4

I wouldn't put it that harshly, but it is clearly a reduction in benefits.

relong
relong

@j45ashton Obama has 40% approval today.. Obamacare is running over 50% against, ive heard up to 60% believe it should be repealed..  Republicans have to keep with the message because Obama and Carney have plenty of paid liars on their side. Every time Carney speaks I laugh at him because he sold his soul so long ago.

relong
relong

@labman57 We'll take it. At least the Republicans are trying to save this country from the destruction of Obama.. keep it shut down until the Dems give up Obamacare completely.. 

Openminded1
Openminded1

@labman57 Articulately written, great use of vocabulary with just enough sarcasm to be witty , But still BS bleeding heart liberal crap.

paulejb
paulejb

@labman57 

What are you talking about? Barack Obama suggested the sequester to cut a trillion dollars from the budget over ten years and Republicans gave him his wish. That's cooperation.

MelissaSenger
MelissaSenger

@paulejb Sure, if by Obama, you mean the House of Representatives having a temper tantrum. 

barneydidit
barneydidit

@paulejb Yeah...it's Obama that's being stubborn here. Those reasonable Republicans just want to negotiate the whittling away of a law that's been passed, ratified and found Constitutional because they don't like it.  Sounds reasonable to me. 

tom.litton
tom.litton

@douglynn23 @outsider The decline in the deficit is the fastest since WWII.

The deficit has declined under every democrat president and raised under every republican president in the last 40 years or so.

jason024
jason024

@douglynn23 @outsider What? The Dems do not "own it" 

The House is the people's House and they are doing what a majority of the public wants.


You mean NOT shutting down the government over it right? You also misread the polls since many Liberals do not like it b/c they prefer a Single Payer option. let alone the polls only ask about the ACA in general and not the details, many of which are heavily favored.

douglynn23
douglynn23

@dhblackstock  Since when should there be no strings attached? What foolish lie are you believing now? The Constitution requires a budget and Harry Reid has not passed one for years. Harry Reid has presided over the Senate while the national debt has grown from 8.6 trillion to 17 trillion. Now, that is what everyone knows is the worst fiscal record in the history of the Senate.

Every law that cost taxpayers more than hundred billion a year should come up for review every year! We do not live in a pass it once and forget it no matter how much it is hated by the public or how much it costs world. The ACA is a very expensive poor solution that will help the few and hurt the many.

You really need to stop with the stupid homosexual teabag slur. It just proves how crude and childish you are.


wantshonestgovt
wantshonestgovt

@dhblackstock @KenPraeger Is that the only response"teabaggers" that you communist liberals can spew!! communist liberals never have an intelligent  response to anything that opposes their gods(obama) view! I pray that you and those like you get the utmost oppression from this communist transformation tactic know as obamacare! The communist liberals will stand by their god(obama) even to their own demise!! Life must be h..l having to live with extreme self loathing and guilt!

outsider
outsider

@barneydidit @RonM  

Barney, you should come over to the morning must reads during the week. i think you'd enjoy it. We bash the wingers all week long over there. You'd fit right in, with your pointing out of facts, and what not. 

tom.litton
tom.litton

@relong @j45ashton If that's true why not fund the government until 2014 when you will have the votes to repeal the law properly?

drichards1953
drichards1953

@relong @j45ashton Where are the FACTS behind your statement?  Verifiable, hard facts?  Of course you have none.  Take your side show on the road. 

barneydidit
barneydidit

@paulejb @labman57 No...Obama did not propose the sequester to cut a trillion dollars from the budget, he proposed it to get the debt ceiling raised so the government could pay the bills that were racked up by both parties over the previous 30 years.  Of course while the Republicans were racking up their share of the debt, they were claiming to be the party of fiscal responsibility. 

paulejb
paulejb

@barneydidit @paulejb 

Did the Dred Scott decision meet your approval also, Barney? It was found to be constitutional also.

relong
relong

@barneydidit @paulejb and yet 60% of Americans believe its a bad law now that its been read and disclosed all of its problems. hmmmm Maybe THAT is why we should repeal it. Its not about insurance for those that dont have it, it is about Obama's socialism and more government oversight over our lives.

Diecash1
Diecash1

@wantshonestgovt @dhblackstock @KenPraeger

communist liberals never have an intelligent  response to anything that opposes their gods(obama) view!


You see the irony of asking for an intelligent response after giving an inexplicably stupid response that you did, don't you?  Communist?  Really?  There's really no fixing this sort of stupid.

barneydidit
barneydidit

@paulejb @barneydidit No, but the opposition to Dred Scott's response met my approval- they didn't try to shut down the government until it was repealed, while simultaneously not having any viable option of their own to substitute. 

Diecash1
Diecash1

@relong Perhaps you should try an up-to-date poll, eh?  Currently, polling indicates that 55% of Americans would prefer that the ACA be implemented as-is or improved but don't let this get in the way of your idiocy and lies about "socialism."