First came the Biden talks. When those blew up, the Obama-Boehner talks took center stage. And when that failed, the McConnell-Reid talks looked promising. And after they faltered, the Obama-Boehner talks tried to find a new life.
Now it’s all come down to the Boehner-Reid-Pelosi-McConnell talks to solve the debt crisis. Notably absent? The president.
In a frantic bid to avoid causing a worldwide economic disruption, debt negotiations have shifted wholly to Capitol Hill, as a frustrated President Barack Obama has taken a step back and allowed House and Senate leaders to try to find a way out of the debt-ceiling debacle. After congressional leaders told Obama at the White House Saturday morning they would attempt to stave off the crisis before Asian markets open Sunday evening, leadership aides raced to put together a framework that both parties could support.
With the president staying out of the picture, congressional leaders struggled to make progress on a temporary two-step solution that raises the debt limit with some offsetting cuts.
And then there’s which party is actually behaving as the “party of no.”
Reid was “very angry” in the meeting with Boehner and McConnell, according to a Democratic official. Following the meeting, Pelosi escorted Reid back to her office because she didn’t want the furious majority leader to say anything to the press. Reid is “adamant” about no short-term extension of the debt ceiling, the official said.
To paraphrase the president, what can the Democrats say “yes” to? More spending and less accountability, evidently.