What Was the White House Involvement in This Last Round of Negotiations

Jul 31, 2011 5:56pm

Vice President Biden ran the first round of deficit negotiations, and President Obama worked with Speaker Boehner and congressional leaders on the subsequent rounds…

But what about this latest round?

All last week, Boehner worked on his bill, which passed the House Friday night and died a swift death in the Senate not long after that. Senate Minority Leader McConnell supported Boehner publicly and privately, refusing to negotiate until the Boehner bill had run its course. Vice President Biden and McConnell spoke during that time, but McConnell refused to do any actual negotiating until it was time.

BUT as we reported Friday, there had been “theoretical discussions” on the staff levels during this period, along the lines of ‘My boss thinks this and I can’t negotiate until that happens, but theoretically here’s where I think we might all end up landing.’

Once that was over:

McConnell and Biden spoke four times on Saturday and four or five times today. McConnell and his team have been working closely through Biden and Biden’s chief of staff Bruce Reed.

McConnell is negotiating on behalf of both himself and Boehner, both the Senate GOP and the House GOP.

OMB director Jack Lew and White House legislative affairs director Rob Nabors have been working in earnest with McConnell’s staff, and Reid’s staff, working on a compromise, shuttling back and forth.

President Obama met with Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Saturday afternoon, to work to get them on board.

President Obama called Speaker Boehner Friday night and Leader McConnell Saturday.

- Jake Tapper (@jaketapper)

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