wpostServer: http://css.washingtonpost.com/wpost

The Post Most: Opinions

direct signup

Today’s Opinions poll

Should the United States fund the service program AmeriCorps? President Obama would increase its budget. Rep. Paul Ryan would eliminate federal funding for the program.

Submit
Next
Review your answers and share

Join a Discussion

Weekly schedule, past shows

Right Turn
Posted at 11:59 AM ET, 04/08/2011

Boehner holding firm

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) just made a brief statement urging the president to sign the House GOP’s one-week funding extension. Many in the press corps were baffled by this. But once again, we return to Negotiations 101.

First, Boehner is reminding everyone that the president threatened a veto over an unobjectionable bill, the only one out there to keep the government operating. This is a not very subtle reminder to those in the White House that the presidential veto threat has put Obama in a very tough spot. Why did you threaten to veto the extension, Mr. President? Obama can’t answer that question, so he really, really needs to get a deal today.

Second, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is insisting there is a deal on money but not on the Planned Parenthood funding rider. How do we know this isn’t true? Because Boehner’s strategy from the get-go was to leave two issues open — the rider and the spending-cut total. This is how you get the best deal: Democrats need to “buy ” the rider with more cuts or take the rider and leave the cuts where they are. The way negotiators phrase this is, ”There’s no deal on any issue unless there is a deal on all issues.” And guess what? That’s what Boehner has been saying nearly every day. (Take my word for it, this is no different than negotiations with the Directors Guild, the Screen Actors Guild or any entertainment-industry union that I sat across the table from for years and years.)

So far, Boehner’s tactics are working. The amount of cuts keep going up, and there is no deal. Hint: this means he is using the rider to extract more cuts from the Dems.

By  |  11:59 AM ET, 04/08/2011

Categories:  Budget

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company