Tale of the dueling clocks
December 19th, 2011
02:35 PM ET

Tale of the dueling clocks

In the latest move in the tale of the dueling countdown clocks, the White House has stepped up their message to target the House and Speaker John Boehner. The running countdown clock, which has been displayed in the White House Briefing Room for the past couple weeks, now says "If the House doesn't act, middle class taxes increase in..." rather than calling on all of Congress to act.

House Speaker Boehner also put a countdown clock on is official website last week, with the word "Congress" marked out and calling on the Senate to act. 

The battling clocks are both in reference to the vote in the House for an extension of payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits. Speaker Boehner has said that he rejects the Senate plan for a two-month extension and thinks the House should work through the holidays to reach a new compromise.

Topics: John Boehner • President Obama • The Vault
Speaker Boehner pushes back over the phone
Photographs of a phone call between President Obama and Speaker Boehner on April 8, 2011 (White House and Office of Speaker John Boehner)
October 13th, 2011
06:24 PM ET

Speaker Boehner pushes back over the phone

Sometime this afternoon President Obama made a phone call to House Speaker John Boehner to congratulate him on passing the three free trade agreements sent over to congress earlier this month. But according to a readout released by the speaker’s office, the call quickly became a bit more confrontational when Boehner challenged the president on some comments made earlier today at his press conference with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.

When asked by CNN’s Jessica Yellin about his decision not to negotiate with Republicans on Capitol Hill over the details of his jobs plan, President Obama returned to some of the rhetoric he’s been using on the road in recent weeks, challenging Republicans to come up with their own proposals if they refuse to support his. Here’s what the president said:

Frankly, we have not seen a lot of ideas coming forward from Republicans that would indicate that same kind of commitment to job creation. If they do - if Senator McConnell or Speaker Boehner say to me, you know what, we want to get some infrastructure built-in this country, we think that putting construction workers back to work is important - I’ll be right there.  We’ll be ready to go.

I don’t think the problem here, Jessica, is that I have not been unwilling to negotiate with Republicans.  I've shown repeatedly my willingness to work overtime to try to get them to do something to deal with this high unemployment rate.  What we haven’t seen is a similar willingness on their part to try to get something done.  And we’re not going to wait around and play the usual political games here in Washington, because the American people are desperate for some relief right now.

Well, during the phone call this afternoon Boehner challenged the president’s characterization of Republican inaction. Here’s the speaker’s office readout of the call: FULL POST

July 26th, 2011
08:09 PM ET

Obama sidelined in debt talks?

When all of this started, President Obama- by choice- kept his distance, tasking Vice President Joe Biden instead to do his bidding with Congress. He eventually got very involved and was negotiating with Speaker Boehner for the last several weeks. Now his role has changed again as House Republicans try to eject the president from the conversation but can he really be sidelined?

Saturday meeting at the White House
July 23rd, 2011
08:38 AM ET

Saturday meeting at the White House

After the breakdown of talks last night, President Obama has summoned the leaders to the White House on Saturday to continue to figure out a way to compromise for the debt talks. We'll see the beginning of the meeting when the travel pool goes into the Oval Office. Of course, the real discussions will begin once the cameras are kicked out. We'll see if there's any progress today and we'll keep you up on the latest details.

11:00 AM         THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet with Congressional Leadership Oval Office

Along with the president and vice president, the following are expected to attend:

Speaker John Boehner

Senator Harry Reid, Majority Leader

Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican Leader

Representative Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader



Speaker Boehner on debt talks: 'Like dealing with Jell-O'
House Speaker John Boehner (R) OH and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) CA are among the congressional leaders meeting with President Obama Wednesday at the White House for negotiations to raise the nation's borrowing limit and cut the deficit.
July 13th, 2011
05:11 PM ET

Speaker Boehner on debt talks: 'Like dealing with Jell-O'

Washington (CNN) - In a meeting to discuss the status of debt talks with reporters in his Capitol Hill office today House Speaker John Boehner said, ““What the President is asking us to do just won’t pass.” Of the White House he insisted, “The only thing they’ve been firm on is these damn tax increases.”

The Speaker believes the broad set of options discussed during the daily White House meetings would not muster enough support within his caucus because they would raise taxes and demand smaller, less meaningful cuts than needed.

Asked to respond to the Speaker’s comments White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer says “The President is ready, willing and able to make the tough choices on entitlements, but you can’t have a balanced approach that is good for the country if you are unwilling to ask the wealthy and special interests to pay their fair share, unfortunately that is the Republican position right now – seniors, middle class families, and college students should sacrifice, but not the wealthiest”

Deficit reduction deadline looming
July 7th, 2011
10:33 AM ET

Deficit reduction deadline looming

Washington (CNN) - The President and Speaker Boehner have discussed a potential compromise that includes broad tax reform and entitlement reform, putting all three entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) on the table, according to a Republican source familiar with negotiations.

The tax reform proposal discussed is to reduce the individual and corporate rates and simplify the tax code, eliminating deductions/credits/loopholes that corporations and individuals currently use to vastly reduce what they pay in taxes.  This broad reform might appeal to Republican critics like Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who warned against “cherry-picking” certain tax loopholes to close instead of dealing with them separately as part of a comprehensive approach to tax reform.

The Republican source also stresses there has been no offer, no deal and this is just a discussion between the President and Speaker, and does not expect any agreement to come out of talks today.

June 18th, 2011
05:27 PM ET

A bipartisan win on the golf course

Washington (CNN) – President Obama and Speaker Boehner found themselves on the same side for once Saturday – teaming up to beat Vice President Biden and Ohio Gov. John Kasich on the golf course in a nail-biter that was decided on the 18th hole.

The victory netted the winning team $2 apiece, according to a joint statement released by the White House and the Speaker’s office. After finishing their round, the foursome headed to the patio of the course’s clubhouse to grab a cold drink, catch some U.S. Open coverage and visit with service members.

For the whole story, click on the Political Ticker.

June 18th, 2011
11:27 AM ET

Obama, Boehner tee off on the links

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The long-awaited golf showdown between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner is underway: The pair, along with with Vice President Joe Biden and GOP Ohio Gov. John Kasich, hit the links around 10 a.m. Saturday at Joint Base Andrews.

For the whole story, click on the Political Ticker.

Thank you for smoking
June 16th, 2011
12:14 AM ET

Thank you for smoking

Should the White House be off limits to smoking?

Maybe the stress of the last several days got to House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday night when he decided to light up a cigarette on the South Lawn of the White House.  Boehner, known for chain smoking, had only been at the annual Congressional Picnic for about ten minutes when he was seen taking a puff, a rarity at the White House.

What do you think?  Let us hear from you.

Topics: John Boehner • President Obama • The Buzz
Boehner, Cantor talk Obama meeting
June 1st, 2011
12:55 PM ET

Boehner, Cantor talk Obama meeting

House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, among others, debriefed reporters after their meeting with President Obama earlier Wednesday.

"The fact that if we're gonna raise the debt limit the spending cuts should exceed the increase in the debt limit. Otherwise it'll serve to cost us jobs in our country," Boehner said, reiterating the position the GOP has held during the debt ceiling negotiations.

Topics: John Boehner • President Obama • The News