Before it's even announced, spat over jobs bargain
July 30th, 2013
01:51 PM ET
9 years ago

Before it's even announced, spat over jobs bargain

(CNN) – As President Barack Obama flew to Tennessee Tuesday to announce a new proposal to spur job growth, Republicans in Washington were already characterizing the plan as a one-sided dud.

On Twitter, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said his office first learned of the so-called "grand bargain" proposal through media reports.

While House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Michigan, did get a heads up, a senior House GOP leadership aide said, but noted that no one in the lower chamber's Republican leadership – either lawmakers or their staffs - got any calls or briefing on the Obama's proposal.

But two administration sources said they called and left a message for Boehner Monday night, and got a return call from his office Tuesday.

In a statement, Boehner's spokesman Michael Steel wrote, "The President has always supported corporate tax reform. Republicans want to help families and small businesses, too. This proposal allows President Obama to support President Obama's position on taxes and President Obama's position on spending, while leaving small businesses and American families behind."

On the Senate side, a congressional GOP source said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell got a phone call from the White House late Monday night with a brief description of the president's jobs proposal. McConnell himself cited the phone call on the Senate floor Tuesday, but said the plan itself was old news.

"While I understand he is looking for headlines here, reports indicate that the policy he intends to announce doesn't exactly qualify as news," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor. "It is just a further left version of a widely panned plan he already proposed two years ago, this time with extra goodies for tax-and-spend liberals."

The dispute comes after months after Obama's "charm offensive" with members of Congress, which involved meals and a round of golf with a total of 25 GOP senators.

He visited the Capitol on three consecutive days is March, visiting the Republican and Democratic blocs in both chambers.

He'll return to the Capitol on Wednesday – but this time, his meetings are only with the Democrats.

CNN's Jessica Yellin, Deirdre Walsh and Lisa Desjardins contributed to this report.

Filed under: Jobs • John Boehner • Mitch McConnell • President Obama
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. rs


    @rs "making up faux conspiracies about the IRS, State Department deaths in Beghazi and more" Tell that to the families of those who died in Benghazi, or the organizations or people the IRS targeted (and yes, the IRS admitted they did target those groups.
    I love the Right. 60 Americans died abroad working for the State Dept. under Bush, NOT ONE WORD from you trolls on that. On the IRS front- open your eyes, that ball of twine unravelled weeks ago – probably when it was revealled that all Issa asked about was right wing groups investigated by the IRS only- The IRS replied with that list- leaving out all the leftist groups. BTW- if you think the TEA Party is a "social welfare" organization- I have river front property in AZ. to sell you.

    July 30, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  2. rs

    Obama has had nothing original to offer to this country, on anything. He copied someone else' health care plan...
    Yeah Rick- He copied Romney's Health Care plan- which you attack daily. See- it isn't hard to figure out- you guys simply won't work with the President- and it doesn't matter what it is about. You sick people are addicted to conflict and chaos, not patriotism or leadership.

    Meanwhile outline for us what the GOP has done for America for the past 5 years.

    I think the answer is ZIP!

    July 30, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  3. Steveo

    Maybe it's just me but shouldn't we know the minute details of this "bargain" before it is simply shut down? Some politicians remind me of car commericials! At the end of the ad somebody is speaking 100 mile per hour and the details just zoom by on the screen. I say, let us hear the DETAILS first!

    July 30, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  4. Laverne

    Gosh, look how hateful McConnell and Boehner look in the photo. They give a whole new meaning to old angry white men!

    July 30, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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