Wow: Obama rejects Boehner’s proposal for short-term debt-ceiling hike; Update: Or did he?

posted at 6:47 pm on October 10, 2013 by Allahpundit

As of an hour ago, Jay Carney had confirmed for the White House press corps that Obama would agree to a short-term hike even if the GOP didn’t end the shutdown and NRO was reporting that more than 150 House Republicans seemed onboard with Paul Ryan’s strategy. The government had taken its first tentative step towards resolving the fiscal standoff; the Dow closed up 300 points on the day because of the news. All was right with the financial world — so much so that this was the front page of at around 6:15 p.m. ET, before the latest news broke:


“Happiness”! Light at the end of the tunnel! Like Christmas and V-J Day rolled into one!

And then came the groin punch. A silver lining via lefty Benjy Sarlin: At least he waited until the market was closed to deliver it.

President Obama on Thursday rejected a proposal from politically besieged House Republican leaders to extend the nation’s borrowing authority for six weeks because it would not also reopen the government. Yet both parties saw it as the first break in Republicans’ brinkmanship and a step toward a fiscal truce.

Twenty Republicans, led by Speaker John A. Boehner, went to the White House at Mr. Obama’s invitation after a day of fine-tuning their offer to increase the Treasury Department’s authority to borrow money to pay existing obligations through Nov. 22. In exchange, they sought the president’s commitment to negotiate a deal for long-term deficit reduction and a tax overhaul

The Republican proposal could come to a vote as soon as Friday. But the White House and Congressional Democrats remained skeptical that House Republican leaders could pass the proposal. A large faction of Tea Party conservatives campaigned on promises never to vote to increase the nation’s debt limit, and say they do not believe the warnings — including from Republican business allies — that failing to act could provoke a default and economic chaos globally. And House Democrats vowed not to support the proposal without a companion measure to fully fund a government now shuttered for 10 days…

Many Republicans said they would support their leadership’s proposal only if Mr. Obama agreed to not only negotiate a broader deal on a yearlong debt ceiling increase — which would most likely include spending and entitlement changes — but also negotiate over the terms for a stopgap spending measure that would reopen the government.

So, to sum up: (1) Carney was wrong. Obama is sticking to Reid’s position of not negotiating until the debt ceiling is raised and the shutdown ends, presumably because he expects (probably rightly) that Boehner won’t have the guts to shut it down again once it’s been re-opened no matter how badly negotiations go. (2) Republicans do indeed seem to be dropping their demands about ObamaCare and accepting Ryan’s plan, even though the whole point of a short-term debt-ceiling hike from the tea party/Heritage side was that it would allow the House to focus on ObamaCare and forget about deficit reduction and tax reform for the moment. (3) Boehner might not be able to pass anything right now. House conservatives would almost certainly kill a clean CR designed to meet Obama’s demand about re-opening the government; Boehner would need Democratic votes to do it and that would leave the GOP caucus in disarray before any meaningful negotiations began. He might not be able to even pass a clean short-term debt-ceiling hike since some House Republicans will refuse to raise the debt limit without spending cuts attached and others will want Obama to make concessions on the shutdown too before agreeing to support it. And House Democrats probably won’t save Boehner on this one since they need to line up behind Obama in opposition.

The good news here is that it’ll be much easier to blame Obama for a default now if we hit the debt ceiling. The not so good news is that we’re suddenly closer to actually hitting the ceiling than anyone thought. Here’s Reid, who really does seem to be quarterbacking the Democratic strategy at this point, from earlier this afternoon.

Update: Hearing now on Twitter that there’ll be further talks tonight. The GOP is putting its best spin on the meeting:

Update: New pressure on Boehner: Some Senate Republicans are also swinging around to Obama’s plan to end the shutdown too.

“I don’t think we’re serving any policy or political goals by keeping the government shut down,” said Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who last Congress served in the House.

“I don’t think we should just address the debt limit and not address the shutdown,” said Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.

“We have two issues, obviously, and they’ve become consolidated here because of the timing. But we need to deal with both the continuing resolution issue and the debt ceiling in a responsible way,” said No. 2 Senate Republican John Cornyn, R-Texas. “Doing just part of it doesn’t solve the whole problem and we need to solve the whole problem.”

Reid’s next move, I assume, will be to bring a bill that re-opens the government and raises the debt ceiling short term. He might very well get to 60 with Republican help, which would make support for Obama’s demand bipartisan. What does Boehner do then?

Update: Annnnnnd, not an hour after it went live on the Web, the Times’s story has been re-written to say that Obama and the GOP “failed to reach agreement” but they’re going to keep talking. The word “rejected” has been quietly dropped, maybe because it was a legit mischaracterization by the paper’s source or, maybe, because the rejection wasn’t supposed to leak lest the market freak out tomorrow morning. Here’s the new spin:

“I think it’s clear that he would like to have the shutdown stopped, and that would require a C.R.,” [GOP Rep. Hal] Rogers said, referring to a continuing resolution that would finance the government. “And we’re trying to find out what it is that he would insist upon in a C.R., and what we would insist upon. So our staffs are meeting, and we’ll talk later tonight.”

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Obama, will not beheld hostage but will except ransom.

Utah agrees to pay the National Park Service (NPS) up to $1.67 million— $166,572 per day—to re-open eight national sites in Utah for up to 10 days.

Another note: VP Joe Biden has not been seen in public in nearly a month. He has also disappeared for a month at a time before.

Time for public answers about the number two man in this country. Is he mentally and physically fit to take over the duties of the president of the United States. It matters Not what you may think of him but he is the man and “We the People” need to be assured of his competency.

jpcpt03 on October 11, 2013 at 4:38 AM

Time for public answers about the number two man in this country. Is he mentally and physically fit to take over the duties of the president of the United States. It matters Not what you may think of him but he is the man and “We the People” need to be assured of his competency.

jpcpt03 on October 11, 2013 at 4:38 AM

I’ll end the mystery for you. He isn’t mentally competent to run a lemonade stand, let alone the United States of America.

kenro85 on October 11, 2013 at 8:03 AM

Utah agrees to pay the National Park Service (NPS) up to $1.67 million— $166,572 per day—to re-open eight national sites in Utah for up to 10 days.

But won’t spend 0 dolars to expand medicaid for the poorest residents. The GOP to a tea.

libfreeordie on October 11, 2013 at 8:13 AM

The White House succeeded in putting away the Veterans Death benefits issue by having the DOTUS sign it after Carney said he wouldn’t do it earlier in the day.

That is a story.

PappyD61 on October 11, 2013 at 8:13 AM

libfreeordie on October 11, 2013 at 8:13 AM

Your statist blather is so, so tiresome. This only improves when all who think like you are gone. You want to “fix” Medicaid? It isn’t broken, by the way. Reduce the size of this bloated, tyrannical federal system – allow the free market to operate the way it was intended – and these problems go away. Keep things as they are, we all die – including you, idiot.

HomeoftheBrave on October 11, 2013 at 8:42 AM

I think libfreeorlie misspoke.

I believe he meant to say, “Adminsitration will take 1/67B from Utah as ransom, will not fund NIH as kids can’t pay and can’t vote Democrat until after they die.”

The_Livewire on October 11, 2013 at 8:49 AM

I don’t live in Utah and don’t know much about their local politics. But I do live in the Progressive Utopia of Illinois who are happily installing the anti-choice ObamaCare policies.

It’s more or less a federal bailout of our failed Progressive state:

About $97 million of next year’s shortfall would be erased through enrollment of new and existing Health and Hospitals System patients in Medicaid through the federal Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

So far the county has accepted nearly 110,000 applications for CountyCare, and it expects to get $278 million next year to care for patients newly enrolled in Medicaid, Preckwinkle said. As a result, the county will provide more services at greater cost but rely less on local tax collections for health care than in previous years, officials said.

What will happen when the federal government has no choice but to eventually cut the funds and coverage? Illinois, which will undoubtedly still be broke, will throw all those people off of Medicaid or gut their coverage.

Utah knows how this will all go down. Better to try to live within their means instead of harming lower and middle-income families down the road (the endgame of the Progressive ideology). The only way to really help the less fortunate in the long run is with free-market reforms anyway (the opposite of ObamaCare).

visions on October 11, 2013 at 8:53 AM

OPEN CIVIL WAR in the gop.

Bring it on. Let the chips fall where they may, these clowns had a chance now WE HAVE TO CLEAN OUT the gop.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — From county chairmen to national party luminaries, veteran Republicans across the country are accusing tea party lawmakers of staining the GOP with their refusal to bend in the budget impasse in Washington.

The Republican establishment also is signaling a willingness to strike back at the tea party in next fall’s elections.

“It’s time for someone to act like a grown-up in this process,” former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu argues, faulting Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and tea party Republicans in the House as much as President Barack Obama for taking an uncompromising stance.

Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is just as pointed, saying this about the tea party-fueled refusal to support spending measures that include money for Obama’s health care law: “It never had a chance.”

In some places, they’re laying the groundwork to take action against the tea party in the 2014 congressional elections.

Iowa Republicans are recruiting a pro-business Republican to challenge six-term conservative Rep. Steve King, a leader in the push to defund the health care law.

Disgruntled Republicans are further ahead in Michigan, where second-term, tea party-backed Rep. Justin Amash is facing a Republican primary challenger who is more in line with – and being encouraged by – the party establishment.

“They keep compromising,” said Katrina Pierson, a former Dallas-area tea party organizer now challenging Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas in the 2014 GOP primary. “They all campaigned on fiscal responsibility. They just need to do what they campaigned on.”

Tea party allies are fighting back.

The Senate Conservatives Fund, an independent political action committee, has run ads asking tea party supporters to recruit primary election opponents for Republicans who voted for a measure that would have kept the government running with modifications in the health care law.


PappyD61 on October 11, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Since the debt clock has been stuck on the same figure for over 3 months, we don’t really know for sure just what the debt is. It’s probably well over 17T now. We also don’t know exactly what bills Lew is paying or not paying since he’s told us it’s too complicated to just write a check to pay the interest on the debt and other constitutionally required debts. My question for the GOP would be if this struggle is so difficult and they can’t find a way out, what are you going to do the next time a created crisis is shoved at you and us from this regime? They’ve proven they will stop at nothing, even failing to pay death benefits for soldiers killed in battle, or preventing seniors from leaving a tour bus to go to the bathroom. What will they do the next time? This is why we demand that you stand firm. It is the only way to defeat dictators.
As to where in the world is Uncle Joe? We all know who’s up next for the position. Can’t have another vote in the senate for the R side, now can we.

Kissmygrits on October 11, 2013 at 9:44 AM

PappyD61 on October 11, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Sounds like a turning point to me. I can’t imagine too many voters will side with the GOP hacks.

ElectricPhase on October 11, 2013 at 9:44 AM

As it stands though, it’s more like the people in one room of a house demanding the music being played throughout the whole house be exactly and only what they want to hear. Furthermore with it being a niche genre of music, not even something that’s palatable to everyone, but just the Abba groupies in the one room. Wait, let me correct that a little more, like only a SECTION of those people in that one room demanding it. And threatening to burn the house down if the rest of the building doesn’t agree.

Even better, make the music choice something that was the one big choice the people in the building succeeded in making prior to you guys filing into your one section of one room of it.

If you’d moved into all of the house, leaving only the host to prefer a different music choice, it’d be understandable. But you didn’t. Only one room, and only a piece of the crowd in that one.

Genuine on October 10, 2013 at 8:39 PM

This has got to be one of the most tortuous and twisted attempts at logic that I’ve ever seen…not to mention altered truths when
there really is very little that is complicated about the facts.

The people that now occupy and control one half of the house – who were specifically put there by the landlord that lives right next door and who evicted the last tenant- were given specific instructions by the landlord to do everything they possibly could to get the other tenant to stop playing that one grunge, head-banging song that pops and skips and gives the landlord a headache every time he hears it. Not only that, but the landlord in his infinite wisdom, handed the new tenants all the quarters for the jukebox. Now the new tenants gave lots and lots of quarters to the other tenants so that the music could keep playing…all except the one distinct quarter that’s needed to keep playing that one dreadful and appalling song. Not good enough for the old tenants. They aren’t going to play any music any more for anyone until they get that lone magic quarter that was withheld…and on top of it…now they want to blame the quarter-keepers as the reason why no one is hearing any music.
So who exactly is it that went ahead and “burned down the house” because they didn’t get every last little thing they demanded?

Go spew that crap on lib blogs. No one there will figure out the fraud you’re trying to perpetuate.

lynncgb on October 11, 2013 at 9:46 AM

There’s nothing I like better than hearing the Republicans are negotiating against themselves. Why should Obama concede anything when these morons in the Republican party, so worried about what the mainstream media says, will fold like a wet sheet? Why is it that only Democrats seem to have spines? Obamacare and the shutdown is a totally different issue from the debt limit. KEEP IT THAT WAY!

eyesights on October 11, 2013 at 9:51 AM

We need to up the truth on words that describe the commie Democrats agenda:

as with the 90 Trillion of “unfunded libilities”

better to use: “$90 Trillion of

“never funded fraudulant ponzie libilities”

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 11, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Smart, tough, good debater, has worked for a living, will not back down and not ugly like the commie Democrats hairy liped culls.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 11, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Ryan: “the president didn’t say yes, he didn’t say no”

— Jonathan Strong (@j_strong) October 10, 2013


Chris of Rights on October 11, 2013 at 10:19 AM

I’ll end the mystery for you. He isn’t mentally competent to run a lemonade stand, let alone the United States of America.

kenro85 on October 11, 2013 at 8:03 AM

But neither is his boss.

Chris of Rights on October 11, 2013 at 10:20 AM

If the debt ceiling is not raised we get an instant balanced budget.

It will be more painful then if Congress and the President did their duty and produced one, but frankly the pain from doing it this way as opposed to letting Obama rack up trillions more in debt is well worth the cost.

If nothing happens on either the debt ceiling or Reid’s government shutdown, America wins.

So why the hell are the Republicans starting to grovel?

18-1 on October 11, 2013 at 10:52 AM

still lock up on the roll over

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 11, 2013 at 10:58 AM


Its a habit.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 11, 2013 at 10:59 AM

But won’t spend 0 dolars to expand medicaid for the poorest residents. The GOP to a tea.

libfreeordie on October 11, 2013 at 8:13 AM

National parks generate revenue from tourism. Medicaid is just a huge sucking black hole for state revenue. From a cost benefit standpoint, Opening the parks benefits everyone whereas expanding medicaid helps only a small percentage at a very large cost to everyone else.

Wendya on October 11, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Boehner’s getting his tail kicked by a lying Socialist, Islamic sympathising ex community organizer

RdLake on October 11, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Resist We Much on October 10, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Fair enough, caught me on the Washington post source. As I was spending my time shooting down you Eisenhower in ’53 and Graham-Rudling-Hollins post at the time you plastered the wall with that copy and paste job though, I’m sure you’ll understand.


However, even those were shutdowns, and more of you weak tit for tat “but Johnny did it too!!” rationalizations, does a single one match the circumstances today? Furthermore, look at the “how was it resolved” and “why did it happen” sections. Anything like today????

I didn’t think so. Why don’t you take a few minutes to absorb all those parts you chose NOT to put in bold print, and then THINK FOR YOURSELF?

The differences become evidently clear.

And not a one of them provided an example of the democratic house shutting down the government over something Reagan passed almost 4 years before, and then going even further to hold the financial stability of our nation at risk by threatening to run through the debt ceiling AS WELL. Demanding both that negotiations on a slew of pet items in exchange for the debt ceiling, and still not backing off of the government shutdown that rests on the demand that the majority party repeal or defund their signature achievement in exchange for reopening it.

See: It’s.never.*******.happened.

It’s doomed to failure regardless.

It was horrible strategy.

Nothing but theater.

And absolutely unjustifiable.

You guys call it the “spite house” these days because someone who tells you what you want to hear came up with it, but that’s ALL the republican strategy has been composed of these last…. Wait how many days has Barack Obama been in office RWM exactly? Don’t want to confuse anyone. ;)

You’re ready to burn the country down for things you have no justifiable reason to be this way about. None.

Nothing but spite. Spite fed to you by people who’s only purposes are ratings, ad sales, and return customers. Not truth. Not good policy. Not a functioning sound government. But conflict.

Our nation is RUN by media who’s only goal is conflict and drama. You all have just bought into one of the sales pitches. There’s a few actually. But you all are EXACTLY like those on the other side you seem to so abhor. Exactly.

Your liberals on the right.

And you’re gonna flip your **** the day the Republican Party caves on this. Because they tried to build a bridge too far this time. Driven by you guys. The hardcore conservatives, with all the anger and fear and victimization, but no rationality or place to go, with good ole Ted Cruz up there saying, “That’s right, come on over here to me. I have a safe district and I’d LOVE your niche market. I’m the guy who’s gonna fight for you!!”

*fingers crossed behind his back, knowing full well that it was all just a plot, no chance of success, and who got overwhelmed the moment his “wish” came true*

Heroes strangely quieter these days, huh?

Interesting times!


Always fun, RWM. Seriously. I tend to ignore the low level jabbers. But you at least make me work for it.

Genuine on October 10, 2013 at 11:00 PM

Well, that was fun! I’m an admirer of the way Genuine completely lost the central point of his argument, but still claimed to win with the “But that’s different” gambit.

There Goes the Neighborhood on October 11, 2013 at 1:48 PM