McConnell: Boehner and I are now dealing directly with Obama on debt ceiling

The Senate has rejected the House bill and the House just voted down Reid’s bill (even though Reid’s bill isn’t finalized) by a vote of 173 – 246. So, why does this matter? According to the NY Times, it makes Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a key player:

The pre-emptive vote could strengthen the hand of Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, as he seeks additional concessions from Mr. Reid.

Mr. Reid, for his part, said Mr. McConnell was dragging his feet on beginning talks to find a compromise solution, and he called on Republicans to offer their plans to alter his measure.

And, it gets worse. McConnell wants to be the one running the show — and bypassing Reid to go directly to Obama:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Saturday he and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) are fully engaged with the White House on a debt deal and expressed optimism an agreement will be reached.

“I’ve spoken with the president and the vice president within the last hour and a half,” McConnell said at a press conference with Boehner shortly after the House rejected Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) debt ceiling plan.

“We are now fully engaged with the one person … who can sign a bill into law,” McConnell told reporters.

Yeah, that doesn’t inspire confidence. Obama’s one-on-one interactions with the other GOP leader didn’t pan out so well.

Ken Bazinet tweeted that Reid and Pelosi were “summoned” to the White House. (UPDATE @ 5:43 PM: The White House meeting is over. Via Roll Call’s John Stanton:

The question is are we closer to agreement? The answer is no – sen. Reid on #debt deal

)

Not sure what kind of game McConnell is playing, but let’s hope he’s not playing the President. The sad part is that it will probably easier for McConnell to get 13 Democrats to vote for his plan than it has been for Reid to get seven GOPers on board with him.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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