While the negotiations between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner are still ongoing there is little indication we will see a deal in the short term. Recently Boehner has made an offer and Obama has made a counteroffer, but there is little actual movement. The two new offers are only slightly different from their initial offers and still very far apart. There is no agreement on the size of the revenue increases or the size of cuts. As a result, Boehner is warning his caucus to expect to work through Christmas.
If we were close to a deal that both leaders thought they could sell to their parties, we would be hearing about it now because of the calender. It takes several days to craft, draft and score an actual piece of legislation. They would need to announce a deal very soon to prevent it from ruining everyone’s Christmas.
If the differences were small and mostly about posturing, they would be addressed before destroying the family plans of almost everyone involved. Instead, they are still dealing with the same intractable differences that have prevented Obama from getting his grand bargain, despite numerous efforts. The fact that we are not close to a deal now means we will likely have to wait until the “last minute” before anything is done.
The last minute is either when we get some small measure that simply fixes this idiotic fake crisis Congress created, because these issues are actually incredibly easy to solve as long as they are not being used an an excuse for getting a much larger bargain, or our leaders will use some bullshit “you must pass this deal in the next 30 seconds without reading it or our the economy implodes” line to try to ram through something horrible. Either way, it seems likely that it will be several more weeks until something happens.
Photo by Speaker Boehner under Creative Commons license.