- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
Public doesn’t have place at table in debt talks
Negotiations go on behind closed doors
Question of the Day
Vice President Joseph R. Biden and a bipartisan group of six members of Congress met 11 times behind closed doors in May and June to try to broker a deal to raise the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt limit — the legal limit the federal government can borrow to pay for its operations and debt obligations.
The talks broke down in late June after Republicans complained that Democrats insisted any deal include tax increases on corporations, a position Republicans said they can’t accept.
Republican leaders, meanwhile, have demanded any compromise include spending cuts to equal the amount the debt ceiling is raised — at least $2 trillion.
Time is running out on a getting a deal done, as Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner says the debt limit must be increased by Aug. 2 or the government risks defaulting on its loans, a scenario he says could trigger another financial crisis.
The president met privately last week with Senate party leaders in an attempt to jump-start the negotiations. More meetings are expected.
Because the two parties are so far apart, Mr. West said it’s probably smart they hash out a basic framework in private first before debating the details later in a more public venue.
“They’re not writing legislation [now], they’re debating various policy principles,” he said. “I think there will be more transparency when we get to the legislative phase and are actually drafting legislation and voting on the bill.”
GOP negotiators also would find it difficult to discuss tax increase options in a public venue without risking a revolt from the dozens of Republican freshmen in Congress aligned with the conservative tea party movement and its ‘no new taxes at any cost’ mantra.
“Where you’re really asking people to make some concessions that potentially could enrage their own party bases and could put them in serious jeopardy, but also you want to talk about ways you might want to soften the blow, cushion things, find a way to make it look a little better, you’ve got to do that in private,” said Norm Ornstein, a congressional expect with the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative-leaning Washington think tank.
“Those kinds of things, as you try to craft components and put them together, are almost impossible to do in public.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Sean Lengell covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at email@example.com.
- GOP tests Democrats on college loan issue
- Lawmakers outside intelligence loop get miffed about briefing structure in Congress
- John Boehner: Time is right to bring latest farm bill to House floor
- Supreme Court nears rulings on key voting rights cases
- N.J. Gov. Christie picks state A.G. to fill U.S. Senate seat
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Michael Widlanski
Leveling the battlefield to aid terrorists enables evil to fight on
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Cutler wins endorsement from gun control group
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Man says he shot burglar who said she was pregnant
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- Obama's empty tough-talk: Gun prosecutions plummet on his watch
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq