Are the White House’s budget talks already doomed? That’s the conclusion some are reaching based on who’s going, according to the Huffington Post. Both sides were invited to send up to eight appointees, but Republicans will only send two: Eric Cantor and Jon Kyl, both political pugilists who aren’t actually budget leaders. Democrats, meanwhile, will send just four: Max Baucus and Daniel Inouye from the Senate, and James Clyburn and Chris Van Hollen from the House.
But the inclusion of Clyburn and Van Hollen makes the talks “look silly,” because they’re “just going to do what Pelosi wants, and she’s not interested in compromise,” a senior Democratic aide complains. “The picks for this task force all reflect a lack of seriousness.” Tensions are running high between Congressional Democrats and the White House already, because Obama kept them in the dark about last week’s deficit speech until the last minute—even though officials say he’d been working on it for months. (Read more budget deficit stories.)