After traveling for more than two weeks and 5200 miles to gripe about the sequester and the supposedly “massive” cuts they impose on federal discretionary spending, Barack Obama will finally talk with people who can do something about it. Apparently, though, the cuts may not be all that bad after all, since Obama won’t bother to meet with Congressional leaders about the sequester until after it hits, as ABC’s Jonathan Karl reports (via the Daily Caller):
They are finally going to have a meeting.
A congressional source with direct knowledge of the plans tells me the top four congressional leaders – John Boehner, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell – will meet with President Obama at the White House Friday to attempt to negotiate a way to avoid the spending cuts that both sides have said should be avoided.
This meeting – the first one the president has had with Republican leaders to talk about the across-the-board cuts known as the sequester – will come after the cuts actually go into effect (midnight Thursday).
Mitch McConnell confirmed the meeting to CNN, but an anonymous House Republican had a better explanation of what Obama expects to produce with this meeting:
A GOP aide told CNN that Republicans do not anticipate the meeting to be anything more than optics–an effort, the aide said, by President Barack Obama to show he is at least talking to Congress on the day the cuts are supposed to kick in. …
A senior congressional Republican chided Obama for the timing of the meeting.
“Either someone needs to buy the White House a calendar, or this is just a – belated – farce,” the Republican said. “They ought to at least pretend to try.”
You know what might have avoided this? An actual budget from the Senate, whose refusal to engage in normal-order budgeting created the cliffs and crises of the last three years. Even on the sequester, despite the President’s campaigning, his party controls the upper chamber and yet hasn’t produced a single alternative for the House to consider.
In fact, today marks the 1400th day that the Senate has gone without a budget, and the House Republican Conference marks the occasion with this video:
“The last time the Democrats in Washington actually had a budget,” the spot instructs, “the iPad was a dream, Kim Kardashian and Reggie Bush were still an item, Instagram didn’t exist.” If you hadn’t done your job for that long, would you still be employed?
Finally, in a Hot Air first-look exclusive, a lucky donor to the National Republican Congressional Committee can win a dinner with Paul Ryan to discuss these and other weighty issues. Eric Cantor explains:
I have some exciting news to share with you.
My good friend, Paul Ryan, is inviting one special supporter to have dinner with him.
Paul’s chairing the Annual NRCC March Dinner at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., on March 20th. And since you’ve been such a loyal supporter of House Republicans, he wanted to make sure you had a chance to be included.
I’ve had many dinners with Paul. Trust me —you’ll have an enlightening and memorable conversation. Paul loves nothing more than spending time with friends like you over a good meal.
This is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have dinner with one of the greatest conservative minds and one of the nicest guys I know. Plus, we’ll fly the lucky winner to D.C. and take care of the hotel.
Throw in $15 for a chance to win dinner with Paul Ryan.
The contest ends March 15th — so don’t wait.