Harry Reid came out of tonight’s meeting at the White House on the government shutdown with praise for the president. Reid said,’The President of the United States was very, very strong, strong, strong.’
Video of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi remarks after the White House meeting:
He (Boehner) sent us something from the House saying that he wanted to go to conference, so I thought we’d throw him a a lifeline. I said fine with me. We’ll go to conference. All we want you to do is open the government. I went through a litnany of things we’d be willing to talk about, or anything else that he’d want to talk about. We said we’ll be happy to talk about discretionary spending. We’ll talk about agriculture. We’ll talk about parks. We’ll talk about healthcare. We’ll talk about anything you want to talk about. And he says no. All we want to do is go to conference on a short term CR. We have the debt ceiling staring us in the face, and he wants to talk about a short term CR?”
After Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke about the meeting’s candid discussion, Sen. Reid added, “One of the things that I felt very happy I was there. The President of the United States was very, very strong, strong, strong. This has never happened before. They can make all of the historical analysis that they want. It just has never happened before. Where a political party would be willing to take the country to the brink of financial disaster and say we’re not going to allow us to pay our bills. The president said he will not stand for that, and we said, I said, I’ll be happy to work with you Mr. Speaker on a way out of this, but we are where we are. We’re through playing these little games. It’s all focused on Obamacare. That’s all it’s about, and I’ve said before, and I’ll tell each of you here tonight. They did the same thing to Social Security. They did the same thing to Medicare, and they’re trying to do the same thing to Obamacare.
Reid added that he and Pelosi are locked in tight on Obamacare.
The dynamic playing out in the Democratic Party is that the unity at the top has brought everyone together. Reid and Pelosi seem delighted with Obama’s hard line stance, and the president is drawing strength from the fact that his own party has his back. The Democrats are clearly engaged in an ultimate standoff with the tea party radicals in the House. Speaker Boehner could end this all right now if he would just allow the Senate passed CR to be voted on without amendment by the House. The Speaker refuses to do this.
Boehner came out of the meeting at the White House looking like a beaten man. Democrats aren’t going to give in to the Republican stall tactic of going to conference so that the GOP can run out the clock and get to the debt ceiling deadline. House Republicans are trying to position themselves to take a new higher value hostage. Democrats aren’t budging, which means that the Republican hostage takers have built their own prison out of their Obamacare demands.
What’s happening is that a strong president is leading a strong party to what could be a strong victory in a nation defining ideological confrontation.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association