President Obama met with House Democratic leaders late this afternoon for an hour and forty five minutes to discuss options on a deficit reduction deal.
The meeting was hastily arranged after Democrats reacted in horror earlier today to what they viewed as signs Obama was headed toward a deal with House Speaker Boehner that would include vast spending cuts but no immediate tax increases.
I still think everyone will in the end go for the option by Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, which would do a limited amount of spending cuts but raise the debt ceiling enough to last through the election.
That’s because the various factions are dug in so deeply. Republicans are adamantly opposed to new taxes. Obama is moving their way because he desperately wants a deal to defend himself against charges in the upcoming campaign that he’s done nothing to cut the deficit. And Democrats won’t sign on to any agreement that doesn’t have a significant tax hike component, believing they can’t explain painful cuts to their base without it.
Mild mannered OMB Director Jack Lew was reportedly subjected to everything short of physical assault during a presentation of the state of play to the Senate Democratic Caucus during lunchtime today. So the president blocked off time to listen to grievances from Democrats at the White House this afternoon.
So far Democratic leaders aren’t talking about what went on during the White House gathering.