Top Senate Aides: Bipartisan Talks on Hold, But Not Over

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J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and GOP leaders talk to reporters after the Senate stepped back from the brink of a political meltdown, clearing the way for confirmation of one of President Barack Obama’s long-stalled nominations, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 16, 2013.

Updated at 5:45 p.m.

Aides to Senate leaders said Tuesday afternoon that bipartisan talks designed to stave off default and reopen the government had not broken down. Rather, the discussions were on hold as House Republicans weighed a competing offer.

“Talks are on hold until we see what the House is going to do,” a Senate Republican leadership aide told TIME.

“Talks have not broken down,” confirmed a senior Senate Democrat aide, who said negotiations are “on hold while the Senate waits to see what—if anything—the House is able to pass.”

The joint status update offered by aides familiar with the negotiations between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, comes as news outlets reported Tuesday afternoon that talks aimed at resolving the budget and debt crises had broken down. “It’s all fallen apart,” Bloomberg  quoted Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein as saying.

The report, which came on the heels of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s remark that leaders were “far from a deal at this point,” sent anxious financial markets sliding.

House Republican leaders spent the day cobbling together a new bill, which amounted to a counteroffer to the emerging bipartisan Senate proposal. House Republicans were set to vote on the measure Tuesday night, though Democrats quickly rejected the proposal, which would fund the government through Dec. 15 and let the Treasury borrow money until Feb. 7. Among its provisions, the House GOP bill would end healthcare subsidies for the President, members of Congress, and congressional aides. “The bill that they are talking about is a bill to default,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Tuesday after a meeting with President Barack Obama.

Without Democratic votes, it’s not clear whether the House Republican bill has enough support to pass. The outside group Heritage Action said it would encourage members to vote against the measure, putting pressure on the tea party conservative Republicans Speaker of the House John Boehner needs to pass his proposal. Pelosi said no Democrats would support the House bill. House leadership cancelled a vote on the measure after failing to secure the backing of enough conservative Republicans.

20 comments
WilliamPace
WilliamPace

Here's a thought, why not have the federal gov. shut down completely all the services that it provides to all the tea-partiers districts. You know all the hostage holders. Bet their change in tone about the roll in U.S. gov't. would change  quickly. Soc. sec. flood insurance,snap, farm subs. Police, fire, HHS,food, clean water,ect. Sue us in the federal courts....delay....delay.   

Use the justice dept. to that effect. By that time may perhaps they will begin to see that . That the gov. does have a roll in our daily lives. Long live America.














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vstillwell
vstillwell

This is just terrible. Wasn't the depression of 2008 enough? These guys actually think they're doing something good for America when all they're doing is ruining people's faith in Democracy. 

MrObvious
MrObvious

How hard is it to eat some crow and push a clean CR?

Are the GOP willing to destroy our economy so they don't have to admit they're a bunch of boobs?

swagger
swagger

light the match, burn the house down, shoot everyone trying to get out and blame obama--you know, the black guy.

JohnDahodi
JohnDahodi

Too bad!!! House Speaker John Boehner failed to get enough votes to pass his House Bill to extend the debt ceiling and restart the government. He tried to play a childish game at the cost of America's prestige, reputation and standing in the world.It is  time for Republicans to kick him out and select a new capable Speaker who can deliver the goods without harming America. It is time once again for John Boehner to CRY, this time loudly and really like a KID.

jmac
jmac

No House vote tonight.  Boehner doesn't have the votes.  Give us an up or down vote on a clean CR!  

rudymill
rudymill

TO MY WHITE REPUBLICAN FRIENDS: TAKE BACK THE REPUBLICAN PARTY


"American democracy is the worst form of government.... except for all the others." America is built on agreeing to disagree. You make your points, you win or lose the election, cut the best deal you can, and then plan for the next election. 

But the incivility and utter hubris of the Tea Party now gives us "If I don't get my way, I'll bring the whole place down." Their oft stated goal is to make Obama fail. But I don't think any rational person believed the hype, for after all, the only way for Obama to fail is for our country to fail.

The key to ending this mess is to restore balance in the Republican Party. Finding out that the lunatics in charge is not unprecedented: the extemists are the global face of Islam today; the Inquisition was not the finest hour for the Catholic Church; the Salem Witch trials are not viewed as a high point of Protestant thought in America.

Any change must come through the members of the Republican Party... And as they are overwhelmingly white, I propose the following:

https://www.change.org/petitions/to-my-white-republican-friends-take-back-the-republican-party#

leonvang
leonvang

After reading Leon Panetta's criticism of Obama in today's  Marcus article in the Washington Post, I agree  with him that  the President and Reid have got to get their act together immediately.Not sending Biden to negotiate and the President  continuously attacking Boehner is not leadership! Reid is too much of a hothead and fighter to negotiate at this late hour.

""""We govern either by leadership or crisis. . . .If leadership is not there, then we govern by crisis,” Panetta said at the start of the session, sponsored by The Wall Street Journal. “Clearly, this town has been governing by crisis after crisis after crisis.”

Which raised the obvious question: What does this say about the president’s leadership?

As to Obama. “This president — he’s extremely bright, he’s extremely able, he’s somebody who I think certainly understands the issues, asks the right questions, and I think has the right instincts about what needs to be done for the country.”

Next came the “but” — without a name but with a clear message. “You have to engage in the process. This is a town where it’s not enough to feel you have the right answers. You’ve  got to roll up your sleeves and you’ve got to really engage in the process . . . that’s what governing is all about.”""""""

Unfortunately one Senator could gum up the process of a last minute deal and that one Senator who wants to go down in flames with the Anarchists is meeting with them right now to devise a strategy. President has given Cruz the stage for repeat performance of his last tantrum.


 Mr. President you are losing the independents every hour you sit back  and fail to resolve this matter. This is no longer a time for confrontation.


AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.
--January 27, 1838 Lyceum Address

At this point in time I think it's going to be a murder/suicide.

ChasHolman
ChasHolman

The GOP Congress has given it's self - a self inflicted wound, and backed it's self into the corner. 


As a result it is a very dangerous animal that is only looking out after it's OWN best interests right now and not the best interests of the nation. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a SERIOUS problem. This group of Republicans are out for blood at this point, and they wont be taking it from each other, but rather the American people themselves must pay for these Republican's false pride. ... 

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

@MrObvious All it will take is for the Weakest Speaker Ever to bring it to the floor.

vstillwell
vstillwell

@swagger I disagree. I think if Obama was all white, the South and the Midwest would still be up in arms. This is a regional conflict being fought out in state houses and Congress. Just wait until the Treasury goes broke and the checks stop rolling out to the South, they'll blame everyone else for it but themselves. 

reallife
reallife

@rudymill as usual you had to bring up race into it...  how come I'm not surprised

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

@rudymill  That the GOTP is always trying to take something back (the country, the presidency, the party) sounds  like a lot of work.

reallife
reallife

@leonvang what does he expect? that's all he knows...  crisis, division, lies, that's his element... he's still a community organizer, remember?



jmac
jmac

@leonvang This is not Obama's fight.   There are votes in the House to end this -all Boehner has to do is call for a vote.  Boehner had already agreed in his negotiations with Obama on the budget that health care would not be on the table.  He reneged after he got the cuts he wanted.  

This fight is between Republicans.  If so-called independents don't see that, they have missed the picture.  You must have missed the rule change that gave Boehner and Canter the power to hold AMerica hostage.    Boehner is beholden to a small group of right-wingers when he could pass a clean CR immediately.  

tom.litton
tom.litton

@leonvang The problem is that the republicans hate Obama.  They reject out of hand and denigrate everything he does.  

That and the democrats no longer trust him in the negotiations.  They think he gave away too much during the last negotiation.  It does no good for him to negotiate a deal that democrats will just reject. 

reallife
reallife

@ChasHolman "only looking out after it's OWN best interests right now and not the best interests of the nation"...

as opposed to Obama and the Democrats, right? 


LOL

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@ChasHolman Here's the really stupid part; within both the Senate and House plan there is a requirement to convene a bicameral budget conference that will discuss details (supposedly) on a budget and debt ceiling. 

They way I'm looking at it THAT should be the time to put together a Grand Economic Plan that would address Obamacare, spending, the debt, entitlements etc.  All of it!  Both branches have given themselves the time to do this by limiting this deal to Jan & Feb.  Why can't they agree to discuss those things then?

Every time I read about new developments it seems as though new demands are made.  We have two days!

tom.litton
tom.litton

@AlphaJuliette @ChasHolman It won't come up with anything that will pass.  

The only way a grand bargain will ever happen is if the American people make it clear they want it with their votes, and they don't care.   Even if i'm wrong, it won't happen before 2015, and probably not before 2017.