Delayed Obama/GOP Summit Sets Tone For Future Bipartisan Dealings
"The roots of the partisan standoff that led to the postponement of the bipartisan White House summit scheduled for Thursday date back to January, when President Barack Obama dominated a GOP meeting in Baltimore and delivered a humiliating rebuke to House Republicans."
After dramatic midterm gains, presumptive House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are letting Obama know he can't run herd over them anymore, the Wednesday story indicates.
The so-called "Slurpee summit" will now be held Nov 30, and serve as a test of how well the two parties can work together. Things don't look good thus far, Politico said:
"[T]he scheduling snafu is a vivid illustration of the complex, tetchy and at times petty negotiations that will very likely attend every Obama-Republican get-together for the foreseeable future."
Party leaders are already negotiating several key pieces of legislation under consideration during the lame-duck session. These include:
- Renewing the Bush tax cuts, set to expire at the end of the year.
- Renewing unemployment benefits for as many as two million Americans set to expire at year's end.
- Passing the DREAM Act, an immigration reform bill that would give undocumented children a path to citizenship.
- Repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the current military policy regarding enlisted gays.
Boehner has already pledged to orchestrate a repeal of health care reform once the GOP actually takes control of the House in January. Senators from both parties have aggressively worked together on an earmark ban since the midterms.
It's not entirely unreasonable to think that the two parties may have some common ground, but as usual it's not a whole lot. And we're going to see a whole lot of political maneuvering over exactly how - and when - we'll get to find out.