Boehner to GOP: Grand Bargain in the works

Here we go:

House Republicans tell me Speaker John Boehner wants to craft a “grand bargain” on fiscal issues as part of the debt-limit deliberations, and during a series of meetings on Wednesday, he urged colleagues to stick with him.

The revelation came quietly. Boehner called groups of members to his Capitol office all day, taking their temperature on the shutdown and the debt limit. It became clear, members say, that Boehner’s chief goal is conference unity as the debt limit nears, and he’s looking at potentially blending a government-spending deal and debt-limit agreement into a larger budget package.

“It’s the return of the grand bargain,” says one House Republican, who requested anonymity to speak freely. “There weren’t a lot of specifics discussed, and the meetings were mostly about just checking in. But he’s looking hard at the debt limit as a place where we can do something big.”

Beyond Boehner’s office, the leadership is sending out a similar message through its emissaries. The House GOP’s most influental fiscal strategists, Dave Camp and Paul Ryan, are privately reassuring nervous members that the shutdown may be painful in the short term, but a budget deal is in the works — and they should be enthused about what they’re cooking up.

“Ryan is selling this to everybody; he’s getting back to his sweet spot,” says a second House Republican who’s close with the Wisconsin congressman. “He and Camp are going to be Boehner’s guys. That’s why Boehner put them on the CR conference committee; he knows these guys are going to be his point men as this whole thing plays out.”

And during Wednesday huddles, Ryan and Camp, along with members who met with Boehner, talked openly about what kind of concessions they could potentially win from Democrats on the debt limit, should Republicans hang together. Per sources, entitlement reform, an elimination of the medical-device tax, and delays to parts of Obamacare are all on the table. Instead of fretting about the shutdown and getting mired in the press frenzy, the leadership and Ryan is working to help members accept a shutdown that may linger for weeks, but ultimately win policy reforms.

Ryan and his allies believe Democrats want a delay of aspects of sequestration and, of course, a clean CR and debt-limit extension. So, instead of making separate deals on each front, Ryan and now Boehner are looking at combining the different issues into a single pact.

2 thoughts on “Boehner to GOP: Grand Bargain in the works

  1. Yep, just the sort of manufactured crisis Obama/Pelosi/Reed and gang was looking for to give them cover to screw workers, the unemployed, retirees and the poor and anyone else they pretend to look out for. Relax those sphincters, ladies and gents, because this one is a doozy and there ain’t enough lube in the world…

  2. Then you’ll yell, scream, rave, rant and the deal gets cut anyways because they know where your vote is come hell or high water.

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