This seems to be a pretty smart move given the situation. The Republicans have been pulled back to Washington knowing the tide is against them. A grand deal was never a winner for anyone anyway. Let them take the bait and continue to make fools of themselves for months to come pretending they can still hold the nation hostage.
Bipartisan agreement still hinged on the Senate leaders finding an income level above which taxes will rise on Jan. 1, most likely higher than Mr. Obama’s level of $250,000. Quiet negotiations between Senate and White House officials were already drifting up toward around $400,000 before Friday’s White House meeting. The two sides were also apart on where to set taxes on inherited estates.
Even before the meeting, Senator Max Baucus of Montana, chairman of the Finance Committee, said “things are starting to gel” around a deal. According to aides familiar with the talks, the plan, in its early stages, centered on a deal that would extend all the expiring Bush income tax cuts up to $400,000 in income.