Here's House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday morning, reiterating the latest demand that keeps cropping up from the Republican leadership: That President Obama lay out his spending cut proposals, while Republicans refuse to say what they want to cut.
“Republicans want the president to own the whole offer upfront, on both the entitlement and the revenue side, and that’s not going to happen because the president is not going to negotiate with himself,” the official said. “There’s a standoff, and the staff hasn’t gotten anywhere. Rob Nabors [the White House negotiator], has been saying: ‘This is what we want on revenues on the down payment. What’s you guys’ ask on the entitlement side?’ And they keep looking back at us and saying: ‘We want you to come up with that and pitch us.’ That’s not going to happen.”Democrats have wised up to Republican tactics, however, and aren't falling for it. They're demanding that Republicans show their demands on these cuts.
[...] [A] Senate Democratic leadership aide said Democrats are open to making a down payment on future spending cuts if Republicans would only tell them what they want.Of course Republicans want Obama to put those cuts on the table. They couldn't be any more transparent about it. If the cuts, which Republicans say are the only thing that will make them come to the table on revenues, come from the Democrats, Republicans can use them against Democrats in the next election. They did it in 2010 with the Medicare cuts included in the Affordable Care Act, and again in 2012, but with much less success. Of course they want to do it again.
“The hard line on entitlements is based on the two-step process of don’t do it now, but we are open to it next year,” said the aide, adding that Democrats aren’t going to let Republicans “head fake us into doing entitlement cuts.”
Senate Democrats say they have made their opening bid on the revenue side by pushing House Republicans to approve a Senate-passed bill to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class while raising tax rates on the wealthy.
It's good to see Democrats have wised up to the tactic, and aren't going to play that game.
9:25 AM PT: Game on.
9:29 AM PT: And it starts getting fun.