Presidential invitation

Obama plans to talk to GOP again on shutdown, debt.
Associated Press
Oct 9, 2013

President Barack Obama is inviting Republican lawmakers to the White House as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown.

With the shutdown in its ninth day Wednesday and a potential economy-shaking federal default edging ever closer, neither side was revealing signs of bending.

But amid the tough talk, Obama invited all 232 House GOP lawmakers to come to the executive mansion on Thursday. Republicans said only 18 would attend, including their leaders and some committee chairmen.

"It is our hope that this will be a constructive meeting and that the president finally recognizes Americans expect their leaders to be able to sit down and resolve their differences," said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

On Wednesday, Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., met for 40 minutes at the Capitol with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and No. 2 Democratic leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland. Each side said the other had requested the meeting, and neither reported any progress in resolving budget differences.

Even so, there were hints of a brief truce, indications that both sides might be open to a short-term extension of the $16.7 trillion borrowing limit and a temporary end to the shutdown, giving them more time to resolve their disputes.

Obama was huddling with House Democrats Wednesday afternoon as both parties looked for a way forward.

So far, the underlying standoff remains the same. Republicans demand talks on deficit reduction and Obama's 2010 health care law as the price for boosting the government's borrowing authority and returning civil servants to work. The president insists that Congress first end the shutdown and extend the debt limit before he will negotiate.

"Speaker Boehner could end this government shutdown today, an hour from now" by letting the House vote to do so, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Wednesday.

Don Stewart, spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said GOP senators hoped that when they meet Obama — at a time not yet set — he would be willing to bargain.

"But if this is a meeting where he simply reiterates that he won't negotiate, this meeting will not be productive," Stewart said.

On Tuesday, Boehner told reporters he was not drawing "lines in the sand." He sidestepped a question about whether he'd raise the debt limit and fund government for short periods by saying, "I'm not going to get into a whole lot of speculation."

Hours later, Obama used a White House news conference to say he "absolutely" would negotiate with Republicans on "every item in the budget" if Congress first sent him short-term measures halting the shutdown and the extending the debt limit.

"There's a crack there," Boehner said of the impasse late Tuesday, though he cautioned against optimism.

The financial world is flashing its own signs that it fears Washington's twin battles could hurt the global economy.

On Wednesday, the International Monetary Fund's financial counselor, Jose Vinals, said a failure by Congress to raise the federal debt ceiling and a subsequent U.S. default would cause "a worldwide shock."

Also, the National Retail Federation became the latest business group to urge lawmakers to quickly end their standoff. In a letter to congressional leaders, federation President Matthew Shay wrote Congress must "reverse the economic crisis it has created through the shutdown while it is still a short-term crisis and not the beginning of another recession."

The Obama administration has said that unless Congress acts, it expects to have an estimated $30 billion in cash left by Oct. 17. That is pocket change for a government that can spend tens of billions more than that on busy days and $3.6 trillion a year.

Hitting that date without congressional action would risk an unprecedented federal default that would wound the economy and deal lasting harm to the government's ability to borrow money, many economists warn. Some Republicans have expressed doubt that the damage would be as severe.

In the House, Republicans were continuing their tactic of pushing through narrowly targeted bills — over Democratic objections — that would restart popular parts of the government.

On Wednesday, the chamber voted 425-0 to finance death benefits for families of fallen U.S. troops. Blaming the shutdown, the Pentagon has halted the $100,000 payments, usually made within three days of a death.

The stoppage of those payments drew the attention of Senate chaplain Barry Black, who in his prayer opening Wednesday's Senate session said, "When our federal shutdown delays payments of death benefits to families of children dying in faraway battlefields, it's time for our lawmakers to say, 'Enough is enough.' "

But an official of a conservative group that has pressed Republicans to try repealing Obama's health care law was unyielding, saying that fight should continue.

"We should not fund the government until we address the president's unfair, unaffordable and unworkable law," Michael Needham, chief executive officer of Heritage Action for America, said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast.

Democratic senators took to the Capitol's steps to call on Republicans to reopen the government. But they struggled to be heard over chants from a nearby rally of Washington, D.C., residents asking Senate leaders to clear House-passed legislation letting the city use its own tax dollars to provide services.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray spoke briefly to Reid, who with other Democrats is blocking approval of House-passed bills reopening specific programs and is instead insisting the entire government be reopened.

"I'm on your side. Don't screw it up, OK? Don't screw it up," Reid was heard to tell Gray.

___

Associated Press writers David Espo, Julie Pace, Andrew Taylor and Donna Cassata contributed to this report.

 

Comments

deertracker

Please join pooh.

Darwin's choice

Your intelligence is stunning.

shucks

Your intelligence is stunted.

grumpy

It is obama saying he won't talk till it is done his way.

It is the repubes saying they won't pass a bill till they negotiate.

It is a circualr firing squad. It is the dumb and dumber parties doing what they do best... pointing their fingers and whining the other guy won't negotiate. Neither will negotiate unless the other will do it their way. All the while calling the other party, the other people they have to negotiate with names. Now they get to sit down with those they have been calling names for weeks and negotiate with them. What a good way to lead up to negotations by calling the other guys names. Sets a good tone for comprimise. These are the parties you sheepole support. The dumb and dumber parties at their finest.

deertracker

The repubes have NO leverage.

grumpy

Is that why obama invited the repubes in the House to the WH? Because they have no leverage? Really? The sound bite you heard and copied here makes no sense, but then most of what you write does no better. You either need a better place to get your sound bites from, or even better be able to understand those sound bites, and when they actually fit the situation.

shucks

You sound like Contango -- drunk.

The Big Dog's back

That's because he is winnie.

grumpy

If as you stated the GOP has no leverage why did obama ask them to the WH to talk. He said before he wouldn't negotiate till the CR was passed. It hasn't passed. Why did obma invite them to talk?

Because the GOP has leverage to make him talk. Your statement was obviously wrong ... again. Nothing unusual, that happens all the time.

The New World Czar

When it all comes down to definition by the Constitution, the House of Representatives makes the rules when it comes to appropriations.

The House can send as many single bills as they want to the Senate and the President. If they want to be jerks and vote the bills down, then so be it...but you won't see the MSM report it this way.

Maybe Obama should ask Boehner for permission to address the House in their chamber, now that would be fun to watch.

deertracker

Maybe just maybe he should hold a vote on a clean CR!

grumpy

There is no we in that decision.

The House has the control of what is in appropreations bills. Not the Senate, and not the President. Read the Constitution.

OSUBuckeye59

There's an acronym taught in business schools called BATNA: Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement, simply meaning when 2 party's are negotiating, the party having the best backup position if an agreement cannot be reached is the party who will most likely prevail.

With the President and the GOP, I'd give an edge to the President if he and the House GOP cannot reach agreement on a Budget and raising the debt ceiling. Here's my reasoning: #1) Big biz like the Koch brothers backing Tea Party members such as Cruz didn't think through the chess game when they poured million$ into groups like the Heritage Foundation, and should the debt ceiling limit not be raised by the House, the Koch brothers Achilles Heel will be hurt: their business empire's revenue will suffer. When I read the Koch brothers unprecedented letter to Congress, it all came into focus. The ripple effect of the U.S. potentially going "bankrupt" would cause many businesses to lose investment $$ and sales. And that brings me to #2) When big businesses start to lose investment $$ and sales, they'll jettison employees faster than you can say "Ouch!". Not only will the recession death spiral be incredibly swift and painful; there will be no government stimulus funding money to slow down or stop the downward spiral. And when this happens, Tea Party leaders such as Cruz will feel a backlash as hot and searing as a out-of-control forest fire, not to mention they'll find their mobile phone numbers blocked by the likes of the Koch brothers.

And what about the President? If a debt ceiling raise agreement is not reached, I expect the President to immediately execute the Powers of his Office and raise the Debt Ceiling on his own. I've read many stories on websites from journalists and constitutional law experts that all say there's enough ambiguity for Obama to raise the debt ceiling w/o prosecution for treason or having overstepped the boundaries of his elected office. If Obama did raise the ceiling on his own, publicly the GOP would be screaming for the Senate to start articles of Impeachment while privately they'd be trying to figure out how to properly remind people they stood their ground against Obama. It would not be an easy time for the President if he raised the limit on his own, but I'd wager U.S. citizens would be significantly more supportive of the President for preventing an outright global catastrophe and these same citizens be overwhelmingly critical of the GOP for not only driving the truck to the edge, but then driving it right off the edge of the cliff. Oh, I almost forgot: Obama doesn't need to worry about running for re-election. That's pretty significant.

I fully realize the ACA is not "settled law", but it is law, it was upheld by the Supreme Court and the GOP was not able to get their Presidential Candidate elected into office last year yet the Tea Party faction is now threatening financial Armageddon because they cannot accept the ACA being law, being upheld by the Supreme Court and Obama winning re-election. U.S. Citizen are not going to forget this. The next election cycle is going to be a really nasty one for both parties, even more so for the GOP. I'm hoping and praying at best we get non major party candidates elected into office and at worse long-time federally-elected officials bounced out of office.

I'm tired of continuing to be a pawn in this politically-charged chess game.

The New World Czar

Here is another way to look at the debt ceiling:

You get home from work and find that there has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood. Your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings. What do you do...raise the ceilings or remove the sewage?

OSUBuckeye59

With all due respect, I think a better analogy might be this one: A family of 5 (Mom, Dad, 3 children between the ages of 16 and 20) has 5 cell phones, 5 cars (including auto loans on at least 3 of the cars), Satellite TV service, high-speed internet service in the home and Satellite Radio service for all 5 cars. Dad works in IT for a Computer company, Mom toils away at home, the two youngest children are in high school, with one of them a senior, and the eldest child is in college. Even though the eldest child has scholarships and student loans, the 5 cars/cell phones/satellite TV/car satellite radio/high-speed internet/auto insurance/medical insurance/dental insurance/mortgage payment/food purchase/utilities sum payment for each month exceeds Dad's net income, meaning Mom and Dad are running up the balance on their credit cards when they purchase groceries and gas and etc., etc., etc. to the point where their credit cards are maxed out. I think that's kind of where our Government is at. Of course we would highly encourage the family to *NOT* ask for an increase in their credit limit but instead sell off the 3 cars having loans & cancel Satellite radio service, to name at least 2 recommendations for the family to lower their monthly liabilities.

Our government has way more liabilities than the family of 5, but if we don't raise our debt ceiling, unlike the family, the financial repercussions for our country and the rest of the world will be truly Armageddon-like. But like the family of 5, our government does need to reduce its future spending. The deficit continues to decrease, but our overall debt just continues to climb. This is beyond ridiculous.

The New World Czar

OK, great analogy...let's put it to numbers:

US Tax Revenue $ 2,170,000,000,000
Federal Budget $ 3,820,000,000,000
New Debt $ 1,650,000,000,000
National Debt $ 14,271,000,000,000
Recent Budget Cuts $ 38,500,000,000

Let's now remove 7 digits from each and pretend it's this family's household budget (although Dad might not earn this much in IT):

Annual family income: $ 217,000
Amount spend anually by family: $ 382,000
New debts on credit cards: $ 165,000
Outstanding balance on the credit cards: $ 1,427,100
Total budget cuts so far: $ 3,850

Yeehaw, they must have saved around $320/month somewhere, maybe they refinanced their second mortgage...but then, they may not have the massive unfunded future liabilities either!

OSUBuckeye59

GREAT simplicity and breakdown of the numbers. Really like what you've posted. Thank you.

An IT salary of $217k? Dad sure is smart! :)

One thing though . . . with an outstanding credit card balance of $1.4+ million, you forgot to add in the spousal support payments Dad's making as a result of the divorce from either his or his wife's charging so frequently they keep wearing out the magnetic strip on their credit cards.

The New World Czar

...or their $500,000 cash advance to invest in this can't-miss company called Solyndra.

Contango

Gotta hope that the Repubs cave to Dear Leader to end the govt. shutdown, raise the fed debt ceiling and get back to the business as usual of: Printing, borrowing, taxing and spend, spend, spend our way back to prosperity.

The sooner the U.S gets to fiscal, financial and monetary collapse, the sooner our soon-to-be bankrupt country can get back to fiscal, financial and monetary sanity.

Contango

"Rand Paul: Why I Plan to Grill Yellen":

http://ideas.time.com/2013/10/11...

Should be FUN.

kURTje

Glad you notice fwd thinking Czar. Have mentioned many times about such items. Sadly most Americans cannot think independent. Hemp too should be utilized here. Along with some of Buckminster Fuller's ideas.

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