Republicans who want to do something about poverty and the unemployed? That's so last week.
Republicans are so outraged by the Democrats' use of the "nuclear option," they're threatening to nuke back.
“Here are my words for the EPA,” a speaker at a Sierra Club event, Laura MacLeery, shouted into a mic in a packed room Thursday morning. “Be bold, brave, creative, visionary! Carpe diem!” She was rallying a troop of volunteers from green groups like the League of Conservation Voters and the National Wildlife Federation to walk the few blocks to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Washington, D.C., headquarters, where the public had been invited to weigh in on proposed standards for carbon pollution.
New bipartisan negotiations over fiscal policy are underway, as a result of the deal that ended the government shutdown. But don’t expect these negotiations to produce a “grand bargain” in which Democrats and Republicans each make major concessions.
Scarcely had Mitch McConnell ceased stating his support on the Senate floor for a deal to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling than the Beltway press was already singing his praises as a veteran legislator willing to deal with the Democrats to save the country at the last instant even if hurts him back home. From the Washington Post’s online Fix column:
Americans who want jobs or mortgages will suffer because John Boehner didn't have the guts to stiff the Tea Party
The grim, angry, loopy, and predetermined conclusion to Washington's crisis
The crisis in Washington is grinding, miserably, to a close. Here's who wins, and how it shakes out.
Mitch McConnell, leader of the Senate Republicans, approached Democrats with a new offer over the weekend: He and his colleagues would vote to open the government and increase its borrowing authority, as long as Democrats would agree to accept the depleted spending levels of budget sequestration. Harry Reid, leader of the Senate Democrats, said no thanks. It was the third time in less than a week Democrats had spurned a Republican overture.
The debate over funding government and avoiding default has officially reached the chaos stage. By my count, no less than four separate conversations are taking place right now: The White House is talking to House Republicans and, separately, it to Senate Republicans. In the Senate, moderate Republicans are talking to the Democratic leadership. In the House, Republicans from the party’s extreme wing are talking to Republicans from the not-so-extreme wing, all under the watchful eye of the caucus leaders. And that’s just the official dialogue.
Here's What He Did Last Time
Politico reports today that Joe Biden, who led President Obama's negotiations in last winter's "fiscal cliff" standoff, has been noticeably absent during the showdowns over the government shutdown and the debt ceiling. According to the story by Jonathan Allen and Carrie Budoff Brown, Biden has been banished from the backrooms by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who stipulated a no-Biden policy during planning meetings with the president last summer.