Budget Talks Hinged on Planned Parenthood

How the deal came together
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2011 1:59 PM CDT

(Newser) – When Barack Obama and John Boehner met Thursday night, one issue loomed over the rest: Planned Parenthood. Boehner was insisting that any budget deal would have to defund the organization, something Obama was utterly opposed to, sources tell Politico. Joe Biden said that if that point prevented a deal, he’d “take it to the American people,” banking that they wouldn’t be pleased with the government shutting down over a social issue. When they left, Obama thought they had most of a deal in place.

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But when their staffs met to finish things off in an all-night meeting, Boehner’s people were insisting on billions more in cuts. The next morning Obama called Boehner. “I’m the president of the United States, and you’re the speaker of the House,” he said. “We are the two most consequential leaders in the US government. We had a discussion last night, and the negotiations don’t reflect that.” They talked three more times throughout the day, trying to hammer out something both parties could accept. When some key pro-life Republicans said they could live without the Planned Parenthood language, the way was clear for a deal.

For more on that deal, click here. (Read more Barack Obama stories.)

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