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Boehner Ends Talks With Obama; Update: GOP Agreed to $800 Billion ‘Revenue’ Increase but Obama Wanted More

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By Doug Powers  •  July 23, 2011 12:12 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

So far I’m fairly impressed. I’m reminded of a variation on an old car commercial: “These aren’t your father’s Republicans.”

In this letter to his colleagues (PDF – h/t Right Scoop) , John Boehner explains why he’s abandoning negotiations with the White House.

Some are reporting this as “Boehner walks away” in order to make Boehner look like the unreasonable villain, but in reality Obama and the Democrats haven’t yet put anything on the table, so they’re the only ones who have been doing the walking. The Democrats so far have offered the Republicans nothing from which to walk away, and clearly don’t want their fingerprints on any deal.

Yahoo News:

White House talks to avert a disastrous early August debt default teetered on the edge of collapse late Friday as Republican House Speaker John Boehner abruptly quit the negotiations.

US President Barack Obama condemned Boehner’s decision and angrily called top lawmakers to the White House for emergency negotiations at 11:00 am (1500 GMT) Saturday, warning “we have run out of time” with an August 2 deadline looming.

“I expect them to have an answer in terms of how they intend to get this thing done over the course of the next week. The American people expect action,” the president said at a hastily called public appearance.

Just once in a while, shouldn’t the person with the title “Chief Executive” have a solid suggestion as far as how to “get this thing done”?

It sounds as if Boehner will now try to work with Senate leaders to get a version of the Cut, Cap and Balance bill passed, even though the previous version was shot down Friday morning. Harry Reid called it perhaps the worst piece of legislation in history, but called bluffs have a way of increasing the attractiveness of subsequent offers, as do perceived snubs.

Below is the story from CBS… we’ll have more on this over the weekend. Will Obama’s birthday coincide with “default Armageddon”? We’ll see:

Update: The LA Times has a good article about how the deal fell apart. Short version: The Republicans agreed to $800 billion in “revenue increases” through tax code overhaul, but Obama wanted another $400 billion on top of that so the increase more closely matched the “Gang of Six” proposal. At that point the deal caved in. Back to the demagoguing board.

They’re meeting again today. Suggested “easy out” for Obama so he doesn’t have to tell Dem leaders he erased $800 billion in potential “revenue increases” from the equation: “800 Billion? Oh, I thought you said million. Of course we can settle on that.”

Update II: The meeting ended in less than an hour. Too bad it’s too hot to play golf today.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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