The intensity of negotiations between the White House and Congressional Republicans has increased in recent days. Boehner and Obama met Sunday at the White House in a session the speaker described as “a nice meeting, a cordial meeting.” He said he’s “hopeful” for an agreement.To which White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer responded with a tweet: "The irony of this is that the White House offer had very specific cuts, the GOP counteroffer had almost none."
“But we’re still waiting for the White House to identify what spending cuts the president is willing to make as part of the ‘balanced approach’ he promised the American people,” Boehner said.
The speech is not a promising sign: If Boehner felt compelled to go to the House floor to publicly address negotiations, it means that talks aren’t progressing well behind the scenes.
Boehner could be trying his hand at upping the pressure on the president, after the White House unleashed its most powerful tool by asking supporters to flood Republican phone lines. Judging by the White House response, that didn't work.
Or Boehner could be putting up a front, telling his restive caucus that he's still standing firm against tax hikes on the wealthy. Or it could really be that talks are at a standstill. But what is certain is that if Boehner doesn't come up with some tax rate increases that his caucus can live with, taxes on the middle class and the wealthy go up next month. And that'll be on his head.
11:58 AM PT: Sen. Harry Reid basically tells Boehner to pound sand.