- (Photo: Reuters)
President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, along with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, did something most considered a long shot – they agreed on a budget deal and the talking points that go with it.
But the Monday morning hangover plaguing Obama and Boehner as a result of Sunday night’s celebration may last longer and produce bigger headaches than either anticipated.
Vice President Joe Biden was dispatched to the Capitol early Monday to meet with Democratic lawmakers in both the House and Senate to convince lawmakers the latest deal is the way to go. Republicans were also huddling to see if they have enough votes for a Monday afternoon roll call.
Reid took to the senate floor Monday morning, calling the weekend deal a “remarkable agreement which will protect the long-term health of our economy.”
“People on the right are upset. People on the left are upset. People in the middle are upset,” said Reid in his remarks.
President Obama, seemingly tired and frustrated after a tense round of negotiations, called reporters together saying the compromise “allows us to avoid default and end the crisis that Washington imposed on the rest of America.”
“It ensures also that we will not face this same kind of crisis again in six months, or eight months, or 12 months,” the president stated. “And it will begin to lift the cloud of debt, the cloud of uncertainty that hangs over our economy.
The question is how long will the clouds of uncertainty hang over Congress? Soon after details of Sunday’s compromise began to surface, critics from all sides began attacking the plan. Liberals in particular were furious with President Obama.
“When you look at the emerging details, spending cuts and triggers with no revenue, the president got rolled,” former Obama White House economist Jared Bernstein told The Wall Street Journal.
Robert Frank of Cornell University and a noted liberal economist is another critic of the plan, arguing that the “spending problem is too little, not too much.”
“They didn’t rob Peter to pay Paul, they robber Peter and Paul,” Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey told Bloomberg. “The president tried his best to make sure we didn’t default, but that doesn’t mean the medicine isn’t so strong that it just taste awful.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) was elected with major tea party support and has said he will vote against the compromise. Rubio visited the Lincoln Memorial for inspiration and posted on a message on Twitter saying, “On eve of important decision that will impact future of nation went to Lincoln Memorial to draw strength from our past.”
Conservative pundits are already saying Boehner will be damaged over the agreement.
GOP freshmen that rode a tidal wave into office made of fiscal commitments to gain control of the deficit were frustrated over the terms of the agreement.
“He’s throwing hand grenades and not taking into account who’s getting hit by the shrapnel,” said one Republican House freshman who asked not to be identified. “It’s hitting his own and he needs to make sure he doesn’t do any further damage.”
Former Virginia congressman Tom Davis twice chaired the National Republican Congressional Committee and is concerned unemployment will remain high and wages stagnant. “It appears dysfunctional because it is dysfunctional,” Davis told the Detroit Free Press.
“Until you get the economy under control, voters are going to continue to be in an ugly mood,” said Davis.
Speaker Boehner is expected to comment on whether there is enough support in the House for a Monday vote. Democrats such as Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) are saying that Republicans will need to vote for the plan by a significant percentage in order for the bill to pass.
House Minority Leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), is advising her members to “vote their conscience” on the plan.