Boehner on Obama meeting: I’ve heard it all before

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Michal Conger

House Speaker John Boehner weighed in on President Obama’s closed-door meeting with House Republicans with an op-ed in the Washington Post last night, taking the president to task for his “charm offensive” and lack of leadership on deficit reduction.

Boehner said while he hopes Obama keeps meeting with Republicans, the president said nothing new at Wednesday’s meeting:

So it was a good meeting. House Republicans welcomed the chance for a frank exchange of ideas with President Obama on Wednesday. Outreach is always positive, and more Republicans in this town need the opportunity to have an open dialogue with our president. I hope these discussions continue.

Yet, while this may have been the first time some of my colleagues have heard the president’s arguments so personally and directly, I’ve heard them all many times before. If we’re going to find bipartisan solutions, the president will have to move beyond the same proposals and Democratic dogma. For all of Washington’s focus on the president’s outreach to Republicans, it’s his engagement with members of his own party that will determine whether we succeed in dealing with the challenges facing our economy.

Boehner explains why Democrats’ budget proposal — the first they have submitted in four years—  won’t solve our fiscal problems:

…Senate Democrats have no interest in balancing the budget. The president also doesn’t share the goal of a balanced budget, despite frequent talk of a “balanced approach.” But we need to try, because doing so is vital to ensuring that our children and grandchildren have a chance to live the American dream.

The problem, in large part, is that Democrats refuse to make the tough choices necessary to solve our long-term debt crisis. Despite enacting $650 billion worth of tax hikes in January, they would rather raise taxes again and tinker around the edges on entitlements — if at all — while spending on these and many other federal programs continues on autopilot.

He concludes:

All of these bipartisan discussions are encouraging, and Republicans hope they will lead to real solutions that help American families. But presidential leadership is really what’s needed. By shifting the focus from charm to courage, and eventually action, we can guarantee our children a future where everyone has the opportunity to find work and pursue their piece of the American dream. That would be the grandest bargain of all.

You can read the whole thing here.


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