Green Room

Obama phones Boehner, says WH won’t negotiate with GOP on debt ceiling

posted at 2:12 pm on September 23, 2013 by

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.”

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Is Obama crazy? Is he trying to force a government shutdown? Is he trying to make us default on our debt? How is he any better than a terrorist?

steebo77 on September 23, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Is this another one of those red line thingies from which President Tourette will end up backing down.

steebo77 on September 23, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Republicans recognize that it would be economically harmful not to do so

In the short term, maybe.

mankai on September 23, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Obama texts Boehner afterward: “jk but rly don’t call my bluff”

HitNRun on September 23, 2013 at 2:23 PM

The story is already written and imprinted in the brains of 90% of the population. The Tea Party insists on stopping health care reform and won’t fund the government unless Obama and the Dems agree to let poor people, and people with pre-existing conditions, die in the gutter.

Nothing anyone does, not Barry O, Boehner, or anyone else, will change the story.

2ndMAW68 on September 23, 2013 at 2:25 PM

If I were Boehner, I’d call up Reid and see if he wants to be the adult on the Democrat side of the aisle. If so, I’d forge the best deal I could.

If Reid adopted the same stance as Obama (which is likely), I’d pass whatever I and the majority of my caucus wanted to pass, and then I’d leave town.

After all, if there are no negotiations, the Dems can take what comes out of the House or leave it. They’d own it either way.

DRayRaven on September 23, 2013 at 2:26 PM

President Quattro Pinocchio has spoken. ‘Nuff said!

Marcola on September 23, 2013 at 2:30 PM

I hope Boehner responded: “Er..Mr. President, you’ve never been interested in negotiating. Call me if that changes, otherwise please don’t waste my time with pointless phone calls.”

batter on September 23, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Putin on line 2

mankai on September 23, 2013 at 2:32 PM

If Boehner had any balls, it would have went something like this:

Presnit O Halfass – “Mr Speaker, this is the President. I just want you to know that I will not be extorted by Republicans on the Debt Ceiling and there will be no negotiations”.

Boehner – K. “click”

44Magnum on September 23, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Obama negotiates with terrorists, but not with Republicans.
Obama provides weapons to terrorists, but wants to take our weapons.

GardenGnome on September 23, 2013 at 2:41 PM

IF Beaner had the cojones (which I don’t think he does), he should release a press statement saying we won’t raise the debt ceiling because it’s unpatriotic to do so, and add the following:

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. … I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”

— Then-Sen. Barack Obama, floor speech in the Senate, March 16, 2006

dentarthurdent on September 23, 2013 at 2:45 PM

I know it’s linked, but it needs to be repeated far and wide:

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.

mankai on September 23, 2013 at 2:46 PM

Boehner will fold. It’s what he does best.

CurtZHP on September 23, 2013 at 2:48 PM

I’d pass whatever I and the majority of my caucus wanted to pass, and then I’d leave town.
DRayRaven on September 23, 2013 at 2:26 PM

The Tip O’Neill strategy. It’s what he always did to Reagan.

txhsmom on September 23, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Obama texts Boehner afterward: “jk but rly don’t call my bluff”

HitNRun on September 23, 2013 at 2:23 PM
reply:BFF4EVER!

onomo on September 23, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Sorry HitNRun. Missed a quote. When you think about it these two guys are constantly thinking with their lady parts, and that’s not very ladylike. But with these two, it’s just split’n hairs.

onomo on September 23, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Red Line

BobMbx on September 23, 2013 at 3:08 PM

But but but but….Nancy just told everyone that Republicans hate him because he’s just so gosh darn NON-partisan….

jjjdad on September 23, 2013 at 3:13 PM

“Republicans recognize that it would be economically harmful not to do so…”

Hold up right there. If we are in an economy such that limiting debt harms that economy, then I argue that is a false economy anyway.

It’s a bubble sustained by increasing the debt limit, rolling the printing presses and barely sustaining the dollar as (effectively) the world’s currency basis.

That bubble has to burst eventually. But I guess that’s a totally different subject.

Tsar of Earth on September 23, 2013 at 3:26 PM

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the president has no role in congressional negotiations. He either signs a bill or he doesn’t.

He is not a member of Congress.

Bug-off Barry.

MichaelGabriel on September 23, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Boehner cried.

Schadenfreude on September 23, 2013 at 3:38 PM

That bubble has to burst eventually. But I guess that’s a totally different subject.

Tsar of Earth on September 23, 2013 at 3:26 PM

It will burst as soon as B stops his quantitative screwing of America. He’ll stop it about the time gas hits around 16-20 bucks a gal or 2016 election. Whichever’s first.

onomo on September 23, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Boner to Obama: When have I ever forced you to negotiate over anything?

xblade on September 23, 2013 at 3:55 PM

Plenty of flexibility with despots, though.

CurtZHP on September 23, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Maybe Biden can negotiate something like he did last time. That was not too bad an agreement actually.

KW64 on September 23, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Let’s just get Putin to do our negotiating. He owns Obama now.

I think we should shut it down just to see how long it takes for anyone to notice.

jdsbengaltiger on September 23, 2013 at 5:35 PM

I just called Boehner by mistake. I was trying to get a hold of Pebble Beach for a tee time.-Obama to Michelle.

birdwatcher on September 23, 2013 at 5:52 PM

Dear Barack, we have no need to negotiate with you at all. The House will pass a spending bill and will haggle with the Senate over details. Eventually, the end bill will hit your desk and you will either sign or veto. That’s the extent of your responsibility in this matter.

Wendya on September 23, 2013 at 5:56 PM

Told ya he would cave:

President Obama is “likely” to meet with congressional leaders this week about funding the government, the White House said Monday.

“I think it’s likely that the president will meet with leaders,” Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One. “I don’t have a time for that or a day for that. But here’s the bottom line: Congress needs to act responsibly in order to ensure that the government does not shut down.”

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/budget/323989-obama-likely-to-meet-with-congressional-leaders-this-week#ixzz2fkv5MtmW

dogsoldier on September 23, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Boehner will fold. It’s what he does best.

CurtZHP on September 23, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Bonehead saw Putin hand Zero his azz.

dogsoldier on September 23, 2013 at 6:07 PM

I wouldn’t negotiate with a pushover either, that would be stupid, when you can simply get whatever you want?

Alinsky on September 23, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Bonehead saw Putin hand Zero his azz.

dogsoldier on September 23, 2013 at 6:07 PM

My little sister could hand him his ass and Bonehead would still blub.

CurtZHP on September 23, 2013 at 9:03 PM

The story is already written and imprinted in the brains of 90% of the population. The Tea Party insists on stopping health care reform and won’t fund the government unless Obama and the Dems agree to let poor people, and people with pre-existing conditions, die in the gutter.

Nothing anyone does, not Barry O, Boehner, or anyone else, will change the story.

2ndMAW68 on September 23, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Even if that were true, and I’m not arguing either way, it doesn’t change what ‘the right thing’ to do is, and what must be done.

Midas on September 23, 2013 at 9:56 PM

Ya know, I’m reminded of the negotiation lesson my father gave me, that has served well over the years.

I was in high school, headed out to meet some friends for dinner/movie, and needed to both borrow the car and have some money…

Midas: “Dad, can I have $20, please?”

Dad: “How ’bout $10?”

Midas: “Hmm, well, I really *need* $20, ’cause we’re going to do food, then a movi…”

Dad: “How ’bout $5?”

Midas: “But, but… that won’t work because…”

Dad: *staring, unblinking*

Midas: “Yeah, $10 would be great, thanks.”

Hey Boehner – take him up on it – don’t negotiate with him. When he squirms, the reply is “well, OK, we’ll send you another CR – this one won’t fund Obamacare *or* Presidential family vacations, or the EPA. We’ll send it right over, ok?”

Midas on September 23, 2013 at 10:02 PM

Obama negotiates with terrorists, but not with Republicans.
Obama provides weapons to terrorists, but wants to take our weapons.

GardenGnome on September 23, 2013 at 2:41 PM

…I voted you for President…. in November 2012!

KOOLAID2 on September 23, 2013 at 10:29 PM

‘I rise today to talk about America’s debt problem.

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion. That is ‘‘trillion’’ with a ‘‘T.’’ That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President’s budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion.

Numbers that large are sometimes hard to understand. Some people may wonder why they matter. Here is why: This year, the Federal Government will spend $220 billion on interest. That is more money to pay interest on our national debt than we’ll spend on Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. That is more money to pay interest on our debt this year than we will spend on education, homeland security, transportation, and veterans benefits combined. It is more money in one year than we are likely to spend to rebuild the devastated gulf coast in a way that honors the best of America.

And the cost of our debt is one of the fastest growing expenses in the Federal budget. This rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy, robbing our cities and States of critical investments in infrastructure like bridges, ports, and levees; robbing our families and our children of critical investments in education and health care reform; robbing our seniors of the retirement and health security they have counted on.

Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America’s priorities. Instead, interest payments are a significant tax on all Americans—a debt tax that Washington doesn’t want to talk about. If Washington were serious about honest tax relief in this country, we would see an effort to reduce our national debt by returning to responsible fiscal policies.

Our debt also matters internationally. My friend, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, likes to remind us that it took 42 Presidents 224 years to run up only $1 trillion of foreign-held debt. This administration did more than that in just 5 years. Now, there is nothing wrong with borrowing from foreign countries. But we must remember that the more we depend on foreign nations to lend us money, the more our economic security is tied to the whims of foreign leaders whose interests might not be aligned with ours.

Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.

I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.’

- Senator Barack Obama, (D-IL), floor of the Senate, 16 March 2006

Obama’s decision not to raise the debt ceiling wasn’t just a symbolic vote without a possible cost either. In their attempt to ‘make a point’ about Bush’s spending and borrowing, which were too high for me, but were Scrooge-like in comparison to President Obama’s sheer gluttony, Democrats came just three votes shy from defeating the debt ceiling increase sought by Bush. Back then, it was ‘F*ck Full Faith & Credit and defaulting on our country’s credit!’ ‘Politics, games, finding a way to raise the debt limit to take some serious steps to get our fiscal house in order’ only became a pressing matter later on, as we shall see.

Senator Obama wasn’t the only Democrat that said, ‘Nyet, no more rubles for you!’ Oh, no, senior statesmen and women, who are bemoaning the ‘irresponsible resistance’ to raising the debt ceiling now, voted not to do so when, well, it was different, you see, because Bush. Who else joined Obama in acting ‘irresponsibly’ and ‘jeopardising our Full Faith & Credit and defaulting upon our obligations?

Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI)

Senator Max Baucus (D-MT)

Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN)

Senator Joseph R Biden (D-DE)

Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV)

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

Senator Tom Carper (D-DE)

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY)

Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND)

Senator Mark Dayton (D-MN)

Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT)

Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND)

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)

Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI)

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)

Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI)

Senator Jim Jeffords (I-VT)

Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD)

Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA)

Senator John Kerry (D-MA)

Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI)

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA)

Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)

Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT)

Senator Carl Levin (D-MI)

Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT)

Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)

Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ)

Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)

Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)

Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE)

Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR)

Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)

Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)

Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO)

Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD)

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)

I remember when then-Senator Barack Obama said this as he was campaigning for President…

‘The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents – #43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.’

- Senator Barack Obama, Fargo, North Dakota, 3 July 2008

Well, to all of the above, I say this:

‘The problem is that the way Obama has done it in the last 1,702 days is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $10,628,881,485,510.23 from the first 43 presidents t0 $16,738,502,722,145.90.

No. 44 has added $6,111,625,673,232.82 by his lonesome. So we now have over $16,738,502,722,145.90 of debt that we are going to have to pay back. $53,995.17 for every man, woman, and child.

If President Obama called President George W Bush irresponsible and unpatriotic for presiding over a $4,901,104,747,205.59 increase in the national debt over 8 years, then what does he think we should call him for spending $6,111,625,673,232.82 in 1,702 days?

Irresponsible and unpatriotic’ sound too mild in comparison; perhaps, ‘treasonous’ might be a more apt description of Mr Obama’s spending.’

- Moi

Resist We Much on September 24, 2013 at 7:50 AM

I’m not sure Obama knows what the definition of extortion is.

ctmom on September 24, 2013 at 8:02 AM

Hey, Mr. President you don’t want an increase on the debt ceiling?

I’m good with that!

The government takes in $2.5 trillion/yr, so you can just run it on that.

Problem: SOLVED!

Sorry about that $4 trillion/yr spending problem, but you want cold turkey and that is what you will get.

ajacksonian on September 24, 2013 at 9:36 AM

This is the president’s “balanced approach”, I take it?

stick on September 24, 2013 at 11:48 AM

$10 in debt obligations says Obama orders the Treasury to continue operations without statutory authority.

“We’ll just do it anyway”

Pelosi and Reid will applaud.

Then we can start the r#volushun.

BobMbx on September 24, 2013 at 1:53 PM