Did Obama refuse a bipartisan deal on the debt ceiling?

posted at 10:00 am on July 25, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

If this is true, then Barack Obama just took full and complete ownership of the debt-ceiling crisis and whatever ensues:

A Republican aide e-mails me: “The Speaker, Sen. Reid and Sen. McConnell all agreed on the general framework of a two-part plan. A short-term increase (with cuts greater than the increase), combined with a committee to find long-term savings before the rest of the increase would be considered. Sen. Reid took the bipartisan plan to the White House and the President said no.”

Jen Rubin writes that “the President is playing with fire” if this report is correct, and that’s most certainly true.  This might also explain why Reid turned around and decided to offer a bill that basically meets Republican demands.  If Obama won’t accept a bipartisan compromise from Reid and McConnell, then Reid might as well just let Obama deal with Boehner instead.

I could have added this as an update to the previous post, but this really does put a much different light on what’s happening inside the Beltway and the White House.  The two-stage plan would have offered the Democrat-controlled Senate a lot of play on budget cuts and revenue increases, perhaps overwhelming the House by bringing Senate Republicans closer to Reid.  All it required was a concession from Obama on a short-term debt increase and an acceptance of real cuts, which is apparently more distasteful to Obama than the default he has been screeching about for the last two weeks.

If this is true, it looks like Reid went to the White House to split the GOP, and ended up with a split in his own party.  No wonder Reid simply wants out at this point.

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