President Barack Obama meets with Speaker of the House John Boehner on the patio near the Oval Office, Sunday, July 3
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Oval Office to discuss ongoing efforts to find a balanced approach to the debt limit and deficit reduction, July 20
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden walk around the South Lawn of the White House, Sunday, July 24
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are briefed by Rob Nabors, Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, during a meeting in Chief of Staff Bill Daley’s West Wing office at the White House to discuss ongoing efforts to find a balanced approach to the debt limit and deficit reduction, Saturday, July 30
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden talk with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi following their meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the Oval Office to discuss ongoing efforts to find a balanced approach to the debt limit and deficit reduction, Saturday, July 30
President Barack Obama talks with senior advisors in the Oval Office to discuss ongoing efforts in the debt limit and deficit reduction talks, Sunday, July 31. Pictured, from left, are: Vice President Joe Biden; Rob Nabors, Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs; OMB Director Jack Lew; Pete Rouse, Counselor to the President; and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett
President Barack Obama talks on the phone with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Chief of Staff Bill Daley’s West Wing Office at the White House to discuss ongoing efforts in the debt limit and deficit reduction talks, Sunday, July 31, 2011. Chief of Staff Bill Daley, National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden talk in a West Wing hallway at the White House in between meetings to discuss ongoing efforts in the debt limit and deficit reduction talks, Sunday, July 31
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden shake hands in the Oval Office following a phone call with House Speaker John Boehner securing a bipartisan deal to reduce the nation’s deficit and avoid default, Sunday, July 31
President Barack Obama signs the Budget Control Act of 2011 in the Oval Office, Aug. 2
Charlie Cook (National Journal): Remember the old joke that ended with the punch line, “What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is negotiable?” That seems to be the Republican position in the debt-ceiling debate now that House Speaker John Boehner has been forced to renounce any tax increases and, for that matter, any net revenue increases….
…Republicans don’t seem to understand the symbiotic relationships in this negotiation. Democrats hate entitlement cuts just as much as Republicans despise tax hikes. Likewise, just as Republicans dislike defense cuts, Democrats dislike domestic spending cuts. Yet, both are necessary. If Republicans expect Democrats to go along with entitlement cuts, the GOP has to be willing to go along with some revenue increases. If Republicans expect Democrats to swallow deep hits to domestic spending, the GOP has to swallow deep hits to defense. Instead, the Republicans’ position seems to be that they should be allowed to stand on their principles while Democrats are required to compromise theirs.
A deal to raise the debt limit will surely pass, and the United States will probably avoid default …. Republicans will be able to smugly walk away from the table knowing that they didn’t give an inch, but President Obama may well come out the winner. The public will see the president as having tried to negotiate a balanced approach whereby each side allowed its own ox to be gored and made sacrifices for the broader national good.
… What has happened is that the New Republican Party has come to hate taxes a lot more than it hates deficits and the country’s growing indebtedness. It has rewritten history to omit any acknowledgment that President Reagan, when it was necessary, went along with tax increases….
… To be sure, Obama would have had a very hard time selling real entitlement cuts and deep domestic spending cuts to the House and Senate Democratic caucuses that have grown more liberal by attrition and election losses over the past decade. Maybe he wouldn’t have succeeded. But we will never know, and the blame for Washington not stepping up to the plate will fall not on the Democrats but on the Republicans who flinched first….
TPM: Hey, remember when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said President Obama walked out of the debt talks yesterday? So, yeah – Obama says that never happened.
“No,” Obama told Cox TV’s Scott McFarlane in an interview Thursday. “At the end of the meeting, what I said to the group was what the American people feel: We have a responsibility to do the right thing. We shouldn’t be partisan, we should solve problems.”
The interview was one of a few sit-downs Obama did with local television reporters from across the country today. In addition to the interview with McFarlane, he spoke to TV stations in Philadelphia and Washington, DC.
The Hill: …. Harry Reid said Thursday House Majority Leader Eric Cantor acted “childish” in the debt talks. He is the the latest Democratic leader to accuse Cantor of impeding progress on negotiations to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.
“…. he has shown he shouldn’t be at the table and Republicans agree he shouldn’t be at the table,” Reid said from the Senate floor. “We had negotiations going here …. and he has walked out on the meetings with the vice president of the United States,” said Reid recounting a Cantor’s exit from the talks hosted by Vice President Biden. “It was childish.”
…. Obama and Democrats have become increasingly irked with Cantor as he has advocated for the more conservative elements of the House Republican Conference and drawn a hard line against tax increases in any deal to raise the $14.3 trillion deficit ceiling.
In focusing his ire at Cantor, Reid is following the lead of his No. 3 in the Senate, Charles Schumer who on Wednesday said Cantor was the only congressional leader who has failed to make meaningful concessions or bring a plan to the table in the ongoing debt-ceiling negotiations.
“There is one person who hasn’t come up with a plan, hasn’t compromised, hasn’t reached out to the other side in an effort to move forward, and that is the majority leader in the House, Mr. Cantor,” Schumer said from the Senate floor. “He is the only one who still says, ‘My way or the highway.’”
Business Insider: Former GOP Senator Alan Simpson had strong words for lawmakers Tuesday over their failure to reach a deal on raising the debt ceiling and lowering the deficit.
“The American people are disgusted at both parties,” the Republican co-chair of President Barack Obama’s fiscal commission told ABC News. “Everybody says, ‘What in the hell is going on?'” he said. “The American people are smarter than their politicians.”
Simpson and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles reached a comprehensive plan for deficit reduction relying on both revenues and spending cuts that has been alternately derided and embraced by both parties — mostly to criticize their political foes.
Simpson saved some of his harshest criticisms for Republicans, saying their stance on revenues is baffling. “The stuff that’s going on in my party, where the – pettiness overcomes the patriotism – it’s just disgusting to me,” he told ABC News. “Reagan raised taxes. We’ve never had less revenue to run this country since the Korean war.”
“Obama lit him up. Cantor sat in stunned silence,” said an official in the meeting. “It was incredible. If the public saw Obama he would win in a landslide.”
(You know how I hate linking GOPolitico – but that line was way too good to resist)
….. Democratic sources dispute Cantor’s version of Obama’s walk out, but all sides agree that the two had a blow up. The sources described Obama as “impassioned” but said he didn’t exactly storm out of the room.
“Cantor’s account of tonight’s meeting is completely overblown. For someone who knows how to walk out of a meeting, you’d think he know it when he saw it,” a Democratic aide said. “Cantor rudely interrupted the president three times to advocate for short-term debt ceiling increases while the president was wrapping the meeting. This is just more juvenile behavior from him and Boehner needs to rein him in, and let the grown-ups get to work. “
On exiting the room, Obama reportedly said that “this confirms the totality of what the American people already believe” about Washington, said a Democratic official familiar with debt negotiations, that officials are “too focused on positioning and political posturing” to make difficult choices.
ABC: Amidst discussions of credit ratings agency Moody’s putting the U.S. on review for downgrade, President Obama told congressional leaders today that by Friday they all have to decide what they’re doing: a compromise package to reduce the deficit, or if there’s no willingness to compromise, some other way to raise the debt ceiling and avoid defaulting.
The president made the declaration at today’s deficit reduction meeting in the Cabinet Room, which began at 4:24 p.m. ET and ended at 6:16 p.m.
A Democrat familiar with the negotiations, said that the group went through discretionary and mandatory spending cuts – more than $1 trillion over 10 years – that had been discussed in the earlier talks led by Vice President Joe Biden.
The group agreed to return to the table tomorrow afternoon to talk about mechanisms for those cuts and possibly to address health care spending (Medicare and Medicaid) and a possible extension of the payroll tax cut…
…Eric Cantor raised yet again the possibility of a short-term fix, which President Obama, seemingly frustrated – according to Republicans – shot down, abruptly ending the meeting.
CBS: As negotiations continue over raising the nation’s debt ceiling to avoid any potential default on America’s fiscal obligations, the daily meetings at the White House on the subject have been getting more tense, people familiar with the negotiations tell CBS News.
Wednesday’s meeting was the most tense meeting of the week, a GOP aide told CBS News. In fact, the president ended the meeting by abruptly leaving the room.
…A Democratic aide described the meeting in different terms to CBS News, saying the participants had a constructive conversation on the numbers, and talked specifics.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor reportedly kept pushing for a short-term deal, which President Obama promised to veto if it reached his desk.
Dana Milbank: Eric Cantor has perfected the strategic sneer.
It comes, frequently, when he answers a reporter’s question about something President Obama has said: The House majority leader’s lip curls up on the left side and a look of disgust washes over his face….
Cantor … is answering calls for compromise with contempt. He shook his fist during a news conference Tuesday and said that Obama’s thinking is “unfathomable to me.” To Obama’s complaint that the wealthy are not sharing in the budget sacrifice, he scoffed: “There is plenty of so-called shared sacrifice.” Asked about Obama’s belief that people like him should pay more in taxes, Cantor retorts: “You know what? He can write a check any time he wants.”
He draws out the vowels in a style that is part southern, part smarty-pants. Had young Cantor spoken like this at his prep school in Richmond, the bigger boys may well have wiped that sneer off his face. Yet even then, Cantor was accustomed to having things his way. According to Cantor’s hometown Richmond Times-Dispatch, the quotation he chose to accompany his yearbook photo was “I want what I want when I want it.”
What Cantor wants now is power – and he is prepared to risk the full faith and credit of the United States to get it. In a primacy struggle with House Speaker John Boehner, he has done a deft job of aligning himself with Tea Party House members in opposition to any meaningful deal to resolve the debt. If the U.S. government defaults, it will have much to do with Cantor…..
Think Progress: One of the major demands that almost all congressional Republicans have made about deficit reduction is that wealthier Americans and large corporations shouldn’t have to pay any more in taxes….
…but one group that Eric Cantor is apparently fine with making pay more is American college students. Cantor, at the White House for budget negotiations, apparently proposed that students who take out student loans should immediately start paying interest, rather than getting to make payments after graduation….
… Obama rejected Cantor’s proposal out of hand, saying that he didn’t want to “screw students”. Cantor’s proposal comes at a time when American students are already overwhelmed by student loan debt. In 2008, the average debt that a college student graduated with was a whopping $23,000. American students continue to pay more than most of their developed world neighbors for a college education, and Cantor apparently wants to make it even more difficult for them while not touching the richest Americans.
Cantor, whose father owned a real estate firm and was the state treasurer for Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign, attended an elite private school as a child …. and went on to study at George Washington University, William & Mary Law School and Columbia University.
I’d guess student loans weren’t an issue for young Eric.