Angered by the unwillingness of members of Congress to compromise, President Obama left a debt negotiations meeting yesterday afternoon after a heated exchange with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The back-and-forth came toward the end of the session when Cantor told Obama that the only way Republicans would agree to raise the debt ceiling for any extended period would be if they could find additional places to make spending cuts. However, Obama has repeatedly called on the GOP to concede on tax cuts for the wealthy as well, and has said he'll veto any legislation that only raises the debt ceiling temporarily.
Cantor reports that Obama told him not to "call his bluff" on the issue, and that if the two sides can't reach an agreement it will only reinforce the negative characterization the American people have of the political process.
"This process is confirming what the American people think is the worst about Washington: that everyone is more interested in posturing, political position and protecting their base than solving real problems," sources involved in the negotiations told the Times.
Unfortunately, it seems like Presidnet Obama might be right, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been especially candid about the political motivations behind the debt negotiations. The Kentucky senator was recently on The Laura Ingraham Show and told the host that he "refuses to help get Barack Obama reelected," all but confirming the Republican party is unwilling to compromise.
Both houses of Congress and the White House have been embroiled in talks about raising the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling for more than a month, and have until August 2 to come up with a plan or risk defaulting on its bills.