Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

Obama Dropped House GOP ‘Like a Hot Potato’

House Republicans are mulling their next move as Senate leaders look to jam them with a watered-down package far weaker than the lofty concessions Republican leaders once demanded for raising the debt limit and reopening the government.

At the end of a huddle in Speaker John A. Boehner’s office Monday, most Republican leaders remained mum on details — although one ripped President Barack Obama for doing an end run around the House GOP.

“I would say that we believed that we could have worked with the president, and then the president dropped us like a hot potato, because our deal, he didn’t want to deal with,” said Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions R-Texas. “He wanted to deal with the senators, so that’s what he’s done.”

Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam, R-Ill., said there were “a lot of discussions” during the closed-door meeting, and that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the fiscal impasse were resolved by the end of this week.

Republicans are under enormous pressure to find a way out of the shutdown and avert a default after several polls have shown the current situation hurting them much more than the Democrats.

Sessions told reporters as he left Boehner’s office that he expected House members to hear more about the Senate-side talks later on Monday night.

“As soon as we see something in writing, then we will see how we can thoughtfully understand what we’ll do with it,” he said.

Late last week, House Republicans said they felt that Obama was finally listening to them, and that he stood ready to negotiate with them in good-faith. Those feelings have largely diminished, however, as the White House rejected follow-up offers from the House GOP and then turned to the Senate to craft legislation that would be a better deal for the administration.

Under the plan that is emerging from the offices of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the government would be funded until Jan. 15, 2014, and the debt limit would be extended into February. It would not repeal the medical device tax used to fund elements of the president’s health law, though it could include a requirement that the Health and Human Services Department certify that the agency is able to verify the incomes of those receiving subsidies to buy health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges.

That’s a far cry from the once-soaring demands of GOP leaders for major Obamacare concessions, dollar-for-dollar savings and reforms for a debt limit hike, and, at one point over the summer, talk of demanding a balanced budget over the next decade.

At one point on Monday, Boehner visited McConnell’s office for a meeting.

“The speaker went to see Sen. McConnell to get an update on the discussions,” said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel.

Matt Fuller contributed to this report.

  • rr_nyc

    I remember the Gang of 6 also blowing up a budget deal in 2011. One Obama agreed to with Boehner.

    Ego First!!!!!!!

  • james s

    What does the GOP expect in return for literal extortion by a lunatic fringe? You’re not getting hugs and kisses for a maniacal breach of political etiquette. This approach by the President only would invite similar action in the future.

  • Liz

    The people the representatives should be angry with are those who encouraged them to believe that their demands were both reasonable and attainable. And they also might take a long look in the mirror.

  • sandbun

    “I would say that we believed that we could have worked with the president”

    Yeah right, since when has the House GOP been interested in working with the president?

    “the president dropped us like a hot potato…He wanted to deal with the senators, so that’s what he’s done.”

    Waaahhh! The President isn’t being nice to us. Waaahhh!

    • stormkite

      He’s actually playing their game. Better than they are.

  • emer83

    No wonder the country is in such sorry shape. We have a president that barely puts a 40 hour work week in, who uses non-political organizations (e.g.IRS) for political gain, still has us in a failed war, added $7 trillion to our debt, inured himself and his family from the debacle of Obamacare, and on and on, and you people are angry at frustrated Repubs. He ran on angry class warfare which clouded the judgement of most voters. The press failed in its job and the voters in theirs.

    • Jesse4

      I wish you lying little cretins would find a new talking point.
      Obama didn’t add 7 trillion to the debt. Almost none of that had anything to do any actions on the part of Obama. If you honestly don’t understand that, do us all a favor and shut up until you do.

      • CaptainAmerica

        YOU are the lying cretin. Today the debt is 7 trillion more than the day Obama started, so yes, Obama added it. Not even you are stupid enough to not understand that, so you are clearly a liar…and a cretin for trying to, with those lies, destroy this nation.

      • emer83

        If you find it necessary to resort to personal attacks, you’ve lost the argument. Check the government’s own website, wikipedia for information. We have the lowest labor participation rate in decades, the lowest homeownership in ten years, one in six Americans on FoodStamps while George Kaiser, Obama’s buddy, Texas oilman and owner of Solydra, got his money back from our taxpayers. You picked the wrong man, the wrong side; time to value intelligence over imagination.

      • JERRE

        He did add 7 T to the debt and its climbing. All of it had to do with his policies. Where on earth do you get your information?

  • Kirk

    Obama knew they’d fold like a cheap suit.

    • JERRE

      But now they want an extension on Obamacare, the very thing the Repubs wanted to avoid the shutdown. They want it because many of the Dems are up for reelection. Smart move would be not to give it. After all, isn’t that what they fought for?

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