Aide: Boehner suggested grand budget bargain to White House and ‘everybody laughed at him’
As congressional Republicans attempt to find a way to negotiate themselves out of the government shutdown, many are hoping to revive hopes of a big budget deal.
President Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders have said they won’t negotiate until the government is fully funded.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) suggested a grand bargain on the budget during a meeting Wednesday with Obama and congressional leaders but was met with skepticism.
“Everybody laughed at him because they’ve heard this song and dance so many times before,” a Democratic aide told Politico.
But a Republican aide disputed that account, saying Democrats insisted Boehner appoint budget negotiators.
The GOP aide told Politico that Boehner complained that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) wouldn’t allow Senate Budget Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) to discuss a deal with House Budget Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI).
House Republicans set off the shutdown by tying funding or implementation of the Affordable Care Act to a temporary measure to fund the federal government, which was rejected by Senate Democrats.
Some Republican congressional leaders have said they would settle for a repeal of a medical device tax that would help fund the health care reform law.
Obama has said he’s willing to negotiate on the budget, but only after Congress approves a resolution to fund the federal government.
But the president said Boehner must first allow House members to vote on a budget measure without legislative add-ons to defund or delay his signature health care law.
[Image via ABC News]