Skip to main content

President Barack Obama official portrait
The Hill's Alexander Bolton:
President Obama wants to complete a grand bargain to reduce the deficit by the end of July, an aggressive timeline coinciding with the expiration of the nation’s debt limit.

Obama told a small group of Republican senators who had dinner with him Wednesday evening that a deficit-reduction deal needs to happen in the next four to five months, according to three sources familiar with the meeting.

A GOP lawmaker who met with Obama said the accelerated timeline has two advantages. Reaching a broad deficit deal by August would allow the president to avoid another messy standoff over raising the debt limit. The president, who has said he will not negotiate on the debt limit, believes it will be harder to forge a major deal in September and beyond, as both parties begin to position themselves for the 2014 mid-term election.

Bolton cites two unnamed senators who attended Wednesday's dinner along with a third source "familiar" with what was said during the meeting. There's really nothing new about the fact that President Obama wants a Grand Bargain—he has been telling that to anybody who will listen for the last two years. But even if July is a new target or deadline, it's hard to take it seriously, given how many deadlines have already come and gone.

Pursuing a Grand Bargain during a weak economy is absolutely the wrong priority and the president shouldn't be focused on it, but the reason it hasn't happened has nothing to do with the calendar and instead has everything to do with Republicans. During his press conference about the sequester last Friday, the president said that he hoped a deal would be possible in the the future, whether in a "couple of weeks" or a "couple of months." But he also said a deal can't be reached unless Republicans back off their no-revenue stance.

Given that the issue is Republicans, not the calendar, July just seems like another arbitrary date. It doesn't matter whether we're talking about next week or next month or next year, unless Republicans change their tune on revenue, there can be no Grand Bargain—by definition. Given that there's nothing Obama can say that will change their minds, he might as well stop obsessing over it and move on to other things. If Republicans want a deal, they'll come to him. But unless that happens, he should spend his time talking about other stuff on his agenda: immigration reform, guns, and (dare I say it!) a plan for investing in America's infrastructure and creating jobs.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site