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Posted at 3:12 PM ET, 11/30/2010

Boehner to Obama: Ongoing talks no substitute for extending all Bush tax cuts

By Greg Sargent

A senior Republican aide passes on some new details of today's big private meeting between Obama and the newly emboldened GOP leadership, and the crux of what happened appears to be that GOP leaders told the President and Dems that they see "no substitute" for extending all the Bush tax cuts.

Also: The President argued to GOP leaders that the best way to handle our fiscal challenges -- spending and the deficit -- was to break them down into three categories: Short-term, medium-term, and long-term. GOP leaders responded by insisting that these issues must be addressed "right away."

On the Bush tax cuts, Boehner agreed to a proposal from the President to create a working group to negotiate over the continuing standoff over how to proceed. Obama himself, addressing the press after the meeting, confirmed that he had appointed his Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, to oversee the discussions.

But the GOP aide says that in the meeting, Boehner made it clear to the President and Dems that he "believes this is no substitute for immediate action to cut spending and stop the coming tax hikes -- for all taxpayers."

The discussion over dividing fiscal challenges appeared to generate an interesting exchange. The President and Dems suggested thinking in terms of short, medium and long term challenges, which prompted an interesting line from Nancy Pelosi.

"Apples, oranges, and bananas don't mate," Pelosi said, according to the aide, an apparent metaphor designed to express the idea that it would be sound policy to divide deficit reduction into short, medium and long term challenges.

But the aide says that "Republican leaders made clear we can address these issues right away -- and the American people are expecting us to."

I'm not sure any of this bodes well for the prospects of that working group on the tax cuts reaching an agreement anytime soon.

UPDATE, 4:35 p.m.: A Dem source explains Pelosi's fruit mating reference:

The reference to apples and oranges was to keep separate the issues of solvency of Social Security and balancing the budget through revenue and spending cuts. In other words, the Speaker said in the meeting: "Don't raise the Social Security retirement age in order to give a tax cut to the rich."

By Greg Sargent  | November 30, 2010; 3:12 PM ET
Categories:  House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Republicans, deficit, taxes  
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Next: Happy Hour Roundup

Comments

The real power is in the House, Pelosi has no motivation to compromise in the lame duck...in January the power shifts to the Senate. Why are we obsessing with Obama and the House GOP? Neither can enforce a deal.
Check this out:

http://bit.ly/dnKWes

Posted by: swinkler | November 30, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

"It would be sound policy to divide deficit reduction into short, medium and long term challenges."

Isn't this just an excuse to kick the can down the road and leave the tough decisions to some other congress and president?

"Apples, oranges, and bananas don't mate... an apparent metaphor?"

Very funny, Greg!

Posted by: sbj3 | November 30, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

It really is unbelievable that we even have to have this discussion. Tax cuts for the rich despite deficits as far as the eye can see, in an economy still weakened from abuse caused BY the rich. It is mind-boggling that we are in this position.

OT:

For the 15 millionth time... Why do Republicans hate the Constitution?

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/11/va-legislator-says-gop-congress-wants-to-help-him-deconstruct-the-consitution-video.php

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 30, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Are people noticing that a big majority in the Senate passed a bill today to make a major overhaul of food safety regulations? Apparently some kinds of things can get done. (And have gotten done while all the arguments continue.)

Posted by: AllButCertain | November 30, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

In other words, Republicans make their usual demand for unilateral concessions from the Democrats in exchange for...?

Posted by: kmy042 | November 30, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

He went on to note that the measure is almost certain to fail because if the vote is held under suspension rules, it would require a two-thirds majority to pass and would not allow Republicans to offer any amendments.


____________________________

Greg - this is how your great desire "for a vote" is going to go -

Through a procedure that requires two-thirds.


The question is this: why would the demcrats want to press silly votes, when in a few weeks, it will be Republicans deciding which votes to take???


How you treat the Republicans now is certainly how you should expect to be treated.

WHAT is wrong with the democrats?


Take a look at this video from the House floor:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJSnozJ4LVg

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 30, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

OT: "Latino leaders in Nevada and nationwide are quietly debating whether to sever their traditional Democratic ties and form an independent grass-roots political group.

"The idea, born of frustration over the party’s inaction on immigration reform and fears that as a voting bloc they’re a political afterthought.

"... The unlikely model for the movement they would like to launch is the Tea Party... Latino leaders have dubbed the proposed movement the “Tequila Party."

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/nov/28/leaders-swirl-around-idea-tequila-party/

Posted by: sbj3 | November 30, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I love watching Republicans squirm when cheering on not paying for millionaire tax cuts but saying the unemployment extension should be passed by paying for it.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 30, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

kmy042,

...in exchange for a vote on START:

"""a possible end game that appeared to taking shape, numerous Senate sources said, could give Republicans the across-the-board tax-cut extensions that they are seeking, albeit in temporary form, in exchange for a Senate vote on the arms control treaty, a top priority for Obama.

[...]

One key player in the treaty negotiations is Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who has been the target of heavy White House lobbying in recent days, including from Vice President Biden, sources close to the discussions said. McCain didn't attend the White House meeting but told "Good Morning America" on Tuesday: "What I hope that we could do is agree to the extensions of tax cuts at all levels and also reach some agreement on moving forward with the START treaty as well. I think that is a serious result that could ensue from the meeting today." """

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/30/AR2010113003494.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 30, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Ethan-

John C. Calhoun would be proud.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | November 30, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

More Democratic obstruction:

"House Republicans said they were disturbed that Democrats might try to pass a portion of the Bush tax cuts under a House procedure that requires a two-thirds vote for passage – a move that would likely set up the tax vote for failure."

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/45726.html#ixzz16nhF0U1B

Posted by: sbj3 | November 30, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Ethan said -"It really is unbelievable that we even have to have this discussion. Tax cuts for the rich despite deficits as far as the eye can see, in an economy still weakened from abuse caused BY the rich. It is mind-boggling that we are in this position."

It's time for Obama to use a prime time Oval Office address (within the week) laying out the fact that a continued tax cut to the top 2% will add approx. $700bil to the deficit, and remind the public that instituting these tax breaks didn't add new jobs during the Cheney/Bush admin, and they won't add jobs now. As much as I would like to see him demonize the GOP directly to the public, all he really has to do is lay out the issue of fairness without picking out who the villains are. Short of standing firm on this issue, Barack will be a one termer.

Posted by: filmnoia | November 30, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Republicans voting no = Democratic obstruction in sbj3's world view...lol.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 30, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Holding national security hostage for tax cuts is about what I'd expect from the bedwetting GOP.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | November 30, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I'd be a lot more concerned about losing the jobs that the Bush tax cut created if the Bush tax cut had created any jobs.

Posted by: HansSolo | November 30, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

@mike: "Republicans voting no = Democratic obstruction"

?

Posted by: sbj3 | November 30, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "For the 15 millionth time... Why do Republicans hate the Constitution?"

Because we can't read and it's filled with words! Terrible, terrible words!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 30, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

@AllButCertain: "Apparently some kinds of things can get done."

Sure. The modern ultra-partisan congress is the fault of the voters, political junkies, and the modern punditocracy. It's like Schrodinger's cat--we keep opening the box to find out if the cats dead, and, eventually, the cat is dead. We're impacting the political outcomes by how much attention we pay. Since overhauling FDA regulations wasn't as good a place to play politics as HCR and DADT, presumably, they just went ahead and did it.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 30, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Swinkler


Fantastic point - come January, the power shifts to the Senate - where much of the negotiations have to take place to get to 60.


The Republicans will have 47 seats, so the leadership will just negotiate with Harry Reid, backed up by the House GOP, which is a strong position.


Obama and Reid are stuck together - and have to work together on one side.


Conversely, the Senate Republicans will need 13 Senate democrats and Obama to get something through.


That is really the new dynamic - get Obama and 13 Senate democrats and that is how to get something passed.


The liberals have lost all their influence - The liberals are not happen with Obama because they say he isn't liberal enough, the rest of the country sees Obama has too far left - practically a socialist bordering on totalitarian communist.


.

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 30, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Note to Dems: Go to the Freakin' Mattresses on this!


Take a vote. Take several votes. Embarass the GOPers for their undying love for the wealthy oligarchy.


The Dems want a tax cut for everyone, and the GOP wants an additional cut just for the multi zillionaires making more than 250k a year.


It needs to be repeated over and over again - the GOP is for tax cuts for the richest Americans.


The GOPer's are building on their "love the rich, screw everyone else" brand in which only the dumbest people in America (Teabaggers) actually voted for.

.

Posted by: DrainYou | November 30, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

DrainYou

Do you actually want the GOP to retaliate in January, by forcing votes designed to make the democrats look bad???


Why do you want to poison the atmosphere?

Posted by: RainintheForest | November 30, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

OT: Now we need oversight on the report! These people are truly sick in the head and blinded by ideology.

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/11/mckeon-wilson-call-for-comprehensive-oversight-of-dadt-report.php

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 30, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin--Makes a person wonder if the level of high passion and outrage these days isn't counter-productive in the end. It certainly gives the political class lots of opportunities to preen rather than roll up their sleeves.

Posted by: AllButCertain | November 30, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Do you actually want the GOP to retaliate in January, by forcing votes designed to make the democrats look bad???


Why do you want to poison the atmosphere?

Posted by: RainintheForest
____________________________________________

Really!! Another snow job from a rain forest.

Posted by: SanchosR | November 30, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

It just does wonders for the Obama reputation to assign little Timmy Geithner as discussion "overseer".

I wonder if the Republicans will school him in turbo tax. Or in how to obey the laws he's paid to enforce.

hey, Mr Geithner could be the first person to hold the prestigious Chollie Rangel chair in the "do as I say, not as I do" university of Democrat politics.

It seems to me that the uber liberals here simply don't understand the mood of the American people. Since the thought of cutting spending never crosses a liberal's mind the oft repeated meme of "the country can't afford to let the rich keep their money" argument makes complete sense.

It is just that the American people also understand that the deficit arises from spending more than the government recieves. Hence the right talks about spending cuts because they know that the angry and disillusioned electorate will not tolerate the continuation of the practices of the past.

The working people of America get it. We understand that the rich earned their money just like everyone else. We also understand that this money is THEIRS. Confiscating it to finance the wastrels in Washington will not be a electoral winner. Liberal whining notwithstanding.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 30, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Some more OTs, all good news imho:

Funding For Black Farmers' Settlement Passes House (Next stop POTUS)

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/11/funding_for_black_farmers_settlement_passes_house.php

Senate passes bill to boost food safety

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2010/11/senate_passes_bill_to_boost_food_safety.php

Best for last:

GM hiring to push electric effort beyond Volt

General Motors Co said on Tuesday it would hire 1,000 engineers and researchers in Michigan over the next two years to develop more electric cars and hybrids as it launched its battery-powered Chevrolet Volt.

"Volt clearly demonstrates that we are well on our way and it is especially true when it comes to the electrification of the automobile," GM Chief Executive Dan Akerson said at a ceremony marking the imminent shipping of the plug-in hybrid.

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2010/11/gm_hiring_to_push_electric_effort_beyond_volt.php

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 30, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/11/happy_hour_roundup_138.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 30, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Apparently Skip can't understand polling.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | November 30, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

@ss28: uber liberal--tim geitner --

really? beyond nonsense!

Posted by: srw3 | November 30, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

On what planet are Republican leaders "newly emboldened?". They've been about as brash, undermining, and uncooperative as one could possibly be for the past two years.

Posted by: klautsack | December 1, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

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