Quotes of the day
posted at 8:31 pm on October 12, 2013 by Allahpundit
Speaker John Boehner told House Republicans Saturday morning that his efforts to strike a deal with President Barack Obama are at a standstill…
“I was happy to see the Republicans engaged in talks with the president, the House Republicans. That’s over with. It’s done. They’re not talking anymore,” Reid said. “I say to my friends on the Republican side of this Senate, time is running out.”
House Republicans are, for the first time, acknowledging that reality. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told the closed meeting of GOP lawmakers that, “Senate Republicans need to stand strong and fight,” according to sources in the room…
But the clock is the biggest enemy for all sides. It’s unclear if a deal brokered by the Senate could come together before Thursday, when the $16.7 trillion debt limit must be boosted, according to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. House Republican leadership sources say their offer of a six-week debt limit increase might regain favor if a Senate-brokered deal does not come together before that deadline.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan lashed out at Senate Republicans for interfering with the House GOP’s talks with the White House to reopen the government and lift the debt ceiling, suggesting his colleagues on the other side of the Capitol were betraying Speaker John Boehner.
“They’re trying to cut the House out, and trying to jam us with the Senate. We’re not going to roll over and take that,” Ryan told reporters. When asked if he felt “double crossed,” Ryan said “you look at the facts and draw your own conclusions.”
Senate Republicans, led by Senator Susan Collins of Maine, are negotiating with Democrats on a package to reopen the government and lift the debt ceiling into next year with relatively modest concessions for the GOP.
A proposal by Republican Sen. Susan Collins that has been the subject of much discussion would include two proposals relating to Obamacare: 1) it would repeal the law’s medical device tax; and 2) it would require verification that people who receive subsidies under Obamacare are actually eligible to receive those subsidies. Both have widespread Republican support, and in another set of circumstances would pass easily. But neither has been sufficient, at least so far, to satisfy the Republicans who originally sought to defund Obamacare, and later sought to delay it for a year, and then later sought to delay the law’s individual mandate…
But still — given the pressures created by the partial government shutdown and the polls showing the damage it has done to the public’s opinion of Republicans — would Collins’ Obamacare plan give the defunders a fig leaf, a way to say they stood up for changes in Obamacare and won? Probably not. The feeling among at least some of the defunders is that they have not come this far just to surrender in exchange for a fig leaf. And that is before one considers the big question of whether President Obama would accept any version of the Collins proposal in the first place…
The short version: If the defunders are still in control, there will be no deal. because when it comes to Obamacare, they would not accept anything Obama would offer, and Obama would not offer anything they would accept.
Democratic leaders in the Senate are rejecting an offer by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) to end the budget impasse, arguing it asks for too much in return for too little, senators and aides tell POLITICO…
While it would give federal agencies more flexibility to work within the constraints of the automatic sequestration cuts, Democrats objected to the level of funding that Collins was seeking, which would lock-in the levels under the sequester at $967 billion next year, far too low for many Democrats…
This means that there is little time for the two sides to reach a deal — and the talks may now shift to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to try to find a way out of the crisis now that the House Republicans have hit an impasse with the White House.
Senate leaders Harry Reid (D., Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) have entered talks aimed at finding a solution to the ongoing budget stalemate…
Senate Republicans are doubtful the House will be able to come up with a plan that can pass. “The House seems to be having a hard time. The president’s not helping much,” said Senator Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.). ”Senator Reid and Senator McConnell are the adults in the room and hopefully they’ll be able to make a recommendation.”
Even if House Republicans can pass a plan of their own, Reid is likely to reject it, and time is running short before the October 17 deadline by which Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says the debt limit must be raised.
With House and Senate Republicans preparing competing proposals to end the government shutdown and avert a default on the nation’s debt, Obama hasn’t shown any inclination to jump at the first offer…
At this point, White House officials won’t even describe separate talks with House Republican leaders and rank-and-file Senate Republicans as “negotiations” – a telling indication of the wait-and-assess approach the president is taking to emerging proposals. The White House also has to stay involved because public opinion could turn against Obama if it doesn’t look like he’s engaging in good faith to find a solution.
“We’re listening,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney, “and we’re talking.”
Let’s say a guy is offered a job for $50,000 a year. If his response is to say that he really was looking for $65,000, then perhaps has a chance of improving upon the employer’s initial offer. But if, instead, he tells the employer, “If you don’t pay me $10 million, I’ll walk,” the response isn’t likely to be, “Okay, how about $200,000?” Instead, the employer is more likely to say, “There’s the door.”
This is pretty much the position that Republicans now find themselves in. They embraced the strategy of tying the continued funding of government to an impossible demand…
Demanding that Obama, having survived re-election with the Democratic Senate majority intact, defund this law in exchange for keeping the government running is like asking that hypothetical employer for $10 million. Expecting him to cave is pure fantasy. Do conservatives think that they are the only ones who can apply pressure? Do they somehow forget that there are liberal activists on the other side who would crucify Obama were he to give in to the defund effort?
So, having embraced a maximalist negotiating position that was beyond the realm of the possible, it isn’t surprising where Republicans now find themselves.
Gov. Christie today blamed Republicans and Democrats for the government shutdown, saying “it’s irresponsible of both sides to have allowed this to get where it’s gotten.”
Asked during an editorial board meeting with The Philadelphia Inquirer what he would do if he were in the Senate right now, his immediate response was this: “If I was in the Senate right now, I’d kill myself.”…
“The president saw this train coming for a long time. All of a sudden today’s the first day he has anyone over to the White House? Same thing with the Speaker, same thing with the majority. They saw this train coming for a long time and did nothing to stop it.”
The GOP should pass a clean 6 week debt ceiling hike and…adjourn. Leave town, go home.
And then get back to reminding people why they are doing this…ObamaCare.
In the two weeks of the shutdown people are seeing the failures and horror of ObamaCare for the first time in practice, not just theory…
Right now the Democrats have the upper hand because they understand that the GOP doesn’t want this fight. If the GOP embraces it and makes it clear to the Democrats that the fight is about ObamaCare and not how to end the shutdown, the GOP might be able to get something out of this.
[GOP Rep. Morgan] Griffith suggested the House should reject an unfavorable agreement from the Senate, even if it resulted in a debt default that severely damaged the economy.
“We have to make a decision that’s right long-term for the United States, and what may be distasteful, unpleasant and not appropriate in the short run may be something that has to be done,” he said.
Griffith, a former majority leader of the Virginia House of Delegates, cited as an example the American Revolution.
“I will remind you that this group of renegades that decided that they wanted to break from the crown in 1776 did great damage to the economy of the colonies,” Griffith said. “They created the greatest nation and the best form of government, but they did damage to the economy in the short run.”
When the shutdown began Oct.1, Wilson penned an essay urging conservative activists in his party and establishment leaders to figure out an endgame strategy or risk losing the narrative to Obama and the Democrats.
“In politics, a plan beats no plan every time, and for the post-shutdown message battle we need a communications plan that runs deeper than ‘Fire two broadsides and board ‘em in the smoke,’” Wilson wrote.
Twelve days later, with some polls bearing out his fears, Wilson is still looking for his party to figure out what it’s doing and do it. “The House leadership couldn’t play poker with a gun to their heads,” he said.
“This turned into everyone swimming in the pool with a turd. Everyone is getting some nasty on them, but someone is going to be holding the sumbitch when the whistle blows,” he said. “No one will be covered in glory.”
The truth is, there’s a lot we can agree on. But one thing we have to agree on is that there is no good reason anyone should keep suffering through this shutdown. I met with some really innovative small business owners on Friday who’ve already lost contracts, lost customers, and put hiring on hold – because the pain of this Republican shutdown has trickled down to their bottom lines. It’s hurting the very citizens that our government exists to serve. That’s why a growing number of reasonable Republicans say it should end now.
And it wouldn’t be wise, as some suggest, to just kick the debt ceiling can down the road for a couple months, and flirt with a first-ever intentional default right in the middle of the holiday shopping season. Because damage to America’s sterling credit rating wouldn’t just cause global markets to go haywire; it would become more expensive for everyone in America to borrow money. Students paying for college. Newlyweds buying a home. It would amount to a new tax – a Republican default tax – on every family and business in America.
“I do think leadership in the House needs to change,” Hannity said. “I don’t think John Boehner is equipped for the job. I don’t think he has the stomach to negotiate. I don’t think he has the ability to communicate the positive, solution-oriented vision for the country.”
“How hard is it?” Hannity asked. “Why aren’t these guys out there explaining what their vision is?”