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Bridget Johnson


October 11, 2013 - 8:22 am

The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee said Republicans are willing to give President Obama a short-term extension on the debt ceiling to get “some breathing space.”

“I’ve probably been in seven, eight, nine meetings with the president. I would characterize this as probably the most constructive,” Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) said after Obama’s White House meeting with GOP leadership.

“We want some breathing space,” he added. “We’ll increase the debt ceiling for six weeks, but we have got to address the debt crisis that we have. And the president didn’t say yes, but he didn’t say no. To some extent, I guess it is the first time as Republicans, we did not hear no, I refuse to negotiate. So this is a discussion that hasn’t led to negotiation yet.”

Hensarling said during the hour and a half meeting “there was at least understanding of each other’s position.”

“It is sad that it took so long. It hasn’t been that many years since we’ve had interaction. You have to have a little bit of understanding, a little trust to lead to negotiation, and it is all taking place tonight and probably over the weekend,” he added.

The chairman said Republicans feel like they’re meeting Obama halfway.

“We want for the first time to hear something besides, I will not negotiate. You must do this continuing resolution. You must do this debt ceiling,” Hensarling continued. “For the first time we didn’t hear that. What comes out of all this, I don’t know. I mean, every successful negotiation I’ve been in, people remain to their principles. They don’t get everything they want, but they walk away with something. We Republicans think we’ve met the president halfway. And he didn’t say yes, he did not say no, but I guess both parties are trying to figure out where are the parameters. Where might it lead?”

“We know the president has some strong feelings. We have some strong feelings about addressing the debt crisis. There are too many in Washington and Wall Street who want to deal with it tomorrow. We want to deal with it today. That’s what debt ceilings are for.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (3)
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To get some breathing space? I say lock them in a small room until they either come to their senses or use up all the oxygen.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Money talks and the Tea Party walks. Wealthy Republicans hate the Tea Party and given their strong animus to popular culture and politics in general only want to protect their money. Texas oil and gas barons, New York financiers, California real estate developers, Washington lobbyists and a political class dependent on big money donations mean the GOP will cave every time.

Where big Dem donors have a vested interest in our popular culture and will invest willingly in the political process to support and advance our culture, big donor Republicans are more likely to throw their hands up in disgust and retreat to their wealth accounts. Wealthy Republicans have no interest in fighting the culture, it is bad business. Witness the daily opprobrium hurled at the Koch brothers. So the GOP will cave, the debt ceiling will be raised, there will be no meaningful spending cuts, Obamacare will institute National Health in the US - never to be repealed.

Only a third party can change this dynamic. The Whigs always compromised with slavery. The Republicans changed the dynamic in the 1850s as the future of our country was being determined with the closing of the western frontier.

So now, we must either reverse the failed progressive politics and economic model of corporate cronyism and an ever expanding welfare state or fall into a corporate-socialist political tyranny. It is not just today's freedom to choose a doctor, a profession or business, an education, a religious conscience, the right to defend our individual sovereignty from violent assault at stake, but the very OPPORTUNITY to be free.

There is only one result at the end of our current road and it is unlikely to be more individual freedom.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Extend the debt ceiling for six weeks? Then we can bicker for 5 1/2 weeks an then go into your "the sky is falling" mode again. Sounds like plan.

I vote another sequestration. The last one doesn't seem to have affected anything other than a few bureaucrats. Of course this time we could be a little more selective on how we implement the military portion. Like keep supporting the troops, only buy our hammers and toilet seats at Sears for substantially less than $800.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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