President Rejects House Proposal, Talks Break Down
“It’s now up to the Senate Republicans to stand up,” said Representative Raúl R. Labrador of Idaho after House Republicans left today’s meeting on the fiscal crisis in the Capitol. Angry Republicans reported that Obama has rejected yet another offer to ease the stalemate over raising the Debt Ceiling, opening the government, and other urgent issues.
Representative John Carter of Texas showed his dismay as he described Mr. Obama as “acting like a royal president.” He added, “He’s still ‘my way or the highway'”.
Unfortunately, the House is not scheduled to meet again until Monday, and House Republicans insist they are pretty much out of options.
The New York Times reports that negotiations have broken down between House Republicans and Obama on finding a solution to the impending Debt Ceiling crunch.
Attention now turns to the Senate. Republicans have spent the past several days trying to garner Democratic support for a proposal that they hope could reopen the government and extend the debt-ceiling through the end of January.
House Republicans remain reluctant to accept any proposal that comes out of the Democratic-controlled Senate, even if it has substantial Republican support. However, Mr. Boehner now has to be concerned about whether he will be forced to put any Senate-offering on the House floor for a vote.
“The problem here is that we don’t have a functioning majority,” said Representative Devin Nunes, a California Republican. “After three weeks of this, they’re still not figuring it out. I don’t know what it takes.”
The President is unwilling to compromise on any proposal that would suggest limiting his Affordable Care Act. The proposal presented last week by the House called for increasing the Treasury Department’s authority to borrow money through Nov. 22, but only if Mr. Obama agreed to more expansive talks about overhauling the budget. No dice.
Representative Aaron Schock, Republican in Illinois, speaking of the detriment this meeting imparted to an already tense relationship, called the development “a total breakdown in trust.”
“You don’t tell the speaker, the majority leader, the majority whip ‘we’re going to negotiate’, then they come and tell our entire conference ‘we’re going to negotiate’ and then 24 hours later, you recant,” he said.
House Republicans remain skeptical that any Senate plan could gain support in the House. Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky said the Republicans remain “very united” and were unlikely to cede any ground as long as Mr. Obama continues to treat the standoff as “still a game.”
Global financial markets could be thrown into turmoil if Congress does not agree to raise the debt ceiling by Thursday, but there is a lot of water to tread for that to happen. Unfortunately for America, this is not a government that is particularly keen on compromise right now.
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