Obama Invites Republicans to Zero-Hour Sequester Talk

They won't meet until Friday, the day cuts are supposed to kick in
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2013 9:34 AM CST
Obama Invites Republicans to Zero-Hour Sequester Talk
John Boehner listens as President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting with Congressional leadership, in this July 7, 2011 file photo.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

President Obama has invited John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi to the White House for a meeting on Friday—the same day the sequester cuts are scheduled to kick in and the House is scheduled to leave town, the White House announced today. Does this mean we're in for yet another zero-hour deal to avert fiscal catastrophe? Don't count on it. One GOP aide tells CNN that Republicans see this as an "optics" play, with Obama trying to show that he's talking with Congress.

  • To this point, of course, he hasn't been. Boehner and Obama haven't spoken since Thursday, and Boehner and Reid haven't spoken since Jan. 21, Politico reports. Senate Democrats are working on a tax-hiking bill that wouldn't clear the House, while House Republicans refuse to do anything until the Senate, in Boehner's words, "gets off their ass."
  • Senate Republicans, meanwhile, are deeply divided over what to do. GOP Senate leaders are pushing for an approach that would give the president flexibility in how the budget is cut, but some Senate Republicans are balking at giving Obama so much power, the Hill reports. Both Senate plans are set for a vote tomorrow, and both are expected to fail, notes Politico.
  • Another reason a deal looks unlikely: It's not going to hit everyone, the Washington Post points out. It will instead whip tornado-like around the country, smashing some towns—like those based around big military bases and factories—while skipping over others, giving some legislators little reason to compromise.
(Read more Barack Obama stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.