Obama phones Boehner, says WH won’t negotiate with GOP on debt ceiling
posted at 2:12 pm on September 23, 2013 by Guy Benson
This nugget is a few days old, but it sets up the video below. Thanks for the call, friendo:
President Obama phoned Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Friday to tell him he will not negotiate with Republicans on the debt ceiling, according to a readout provided by the Speaker’s office. Boehner told the president he was “disappointed” to hear his position, an aide said. “Given the long history of using debt limit increases to achieve bipartisan deficit reduction and economic reforms, the Speaker was disappointed but told the president that the two chambers of Congress will chart the path ahead. It was a brief call,” the aide said. Obama has insisted for months that he will not be “extorted” by Republicans for an increase in the debt ceiling, which will likely be needed sometime next month to prevent the government from the risk of default.
Set aside Obama’s incandescent hypocrisy on debt ceiling votes, and consider the bizarre spectacle of the president personally dialing up the Speaker of the House…for the sole purpose of informing him that he will not discuss a pressing national matter with said Speaker’s House majority. The public doesn’t want the debt ceiling raised at all. Republicans recognize that it would be economically harmful not to do so, but want to ensure that any hike to the federal borrowing limit is paired with off-setting debt reduction measures and other reforms. Based on recent CBO projections, this is an eminently reasonable posture for the GOP to adopt. If one party is offering to come to the table and forge a bipartisan agreement, but the other won’t even agree to talk, who is playing the role of reckless “extortionist”? The RNC exposes the absence of presidential leadership in a new web ad, culminating in last week’s telling exchange between ABC News’ Jon Karl and White House spokesman Jay Carney:
“You’re threatening default.”