Congressional Republicans have called President Obama's bluff. You don't
have to agree with them on any fiscal policy to know they made a shrewd
move in dragging the president to the table in the debt-ceiling
When House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorPaul Ryan sells out conservatives with healthcare surrender A path forward on infrastructure Democrats step up calls that Russian hack was act of war MORE (R-Va.) bailed on the debt talks led by Vice President Biden on Thursday, much was made over the fact that he hadn't informed House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Boehner6 reasons 'TrumpCare' flatlined Paul Ryan sells out conservatives with healthcare surrender Matt Schlapp: 5 lessons Trump, Ryan must learn from healthcare debate MORE (R-Ohio) that he was doing so, and some concluded Cantor wanted to inoculate himself against any deal that included tax hikes. There was another dust-up over whether disagreements arose on taxes alone or the question of defense cuts as well, with House Republicans insisting the talks broke down solely over the Democrats' insistence on new taxes.
BoehnerJohn Boehner6 reasons 'TrumpCare' flatlined Paul Ryan sells out conservatives with healthcare surrender Matt Schlapp: 5 lessons Trump, Ryan must learn from healthcare debate MORE backed up Cantor on the tax issue, stating that a deal that raised tax increases won't pass the House. He declared any agreement to raise the debt ceiling must include spending cuts larger than the increase itself as well as budget reforms and that the deal cannot raise taxes. "If the president wants this done, he must lead," Boehner said.
Now the president has agreed to meet with Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidWhat if there’s no 'Nuclear Option' in the Senate? Republican failure Senate about to enter 'nuclear option' death spiral MORE (D-Nev.) on Monday morning and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellSchumer: 'Virtually impossible' to reach deal on Gorsuch Two Dems announce they'll vote for Gorsuch Pence breaks tie, allowing Senate to revoke Obama order on abortion provider funding MORE (R-Ky.) on Monday evening, and White House press secretary Jay Carney said "we believe that we can move forward as long as no one in the talks takes a my-way-or-the-highway approach."
That, of course, is what Republicans are doing. Let's see what tax hikes the president recommends and how it goes over with Republicans. No word yet on whether POTUS will meet with Boehner. But Obama is at the table now, not because he wanted to be, but because Republicans dragged him there. And it is where he should be.
IN THE END, WILL THE DEBT-CEILING PACKAGE TOUCH MEDICARE OR TAXES? Ask A.B. returns Tuesday, June 27. Please join my weekly video Q&A by sending your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.