Tags: debt | deal | Biden | McConnell

Young Guns Started Debt Fight; Old Hands Settled It

Wednesday, 03 Aug 2011 12:07 PM

The young guns of the tea party started the debt and deficit brawl, but it took two men with more than 60 years of Washington experience to settle the matter. Vice President Joe Biden, who came to Washington in 1973, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who arrived in 1985, cut the deal over the phone, The Washington Post reported.

“It may have been messy. It might have appeared to some like their government wasn’t working,” the Post quotes McConnell as saying. “But, in fact, the opposite was true.”

While a very public fight was going on before the television cameras, McConnell was ensconced in a private room in the Capitol, separated from the brawl by four doors, three receptionists, and a police guard.

Editor's Note: 50% unemployment, 90% stock market drop, 100% inflation.
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On Saturday afternoon, four days before the debt ceiling deadline, he called Biden and both knew they wanted a deal. “We didn’t have to say that to one another,” McConnell told the Post. “I didn’t have to waste a lot of time telling Joe what my bottom line was.”

While House Speaker John Boehner’s and President Barack Obama’s plans were failing, Biden and McConnell were working out the details of a plan that would allow Obama to raise the debt ceiling by more than $2 trillion and impose more than $917 billion in spending cuts, the Post reported.

Once the deal was made, it became clear that those who started the fight wouldn’t support the deal, so the struggle shifted to persuading the moderates to support the measure.

The message delivered was simple: “Are you going to be the one who puts the country in default?,” the Post reported.

The bill passed easily, avoiding the tough choices favored by Obama and the new House GOP members and putting them off for another day.

“I think some of our members may have thought the default issue was a hostage you might take a chance at shooting,” McConnell told the Post. “Most of us didn’t think that. What we did learn is this — it’s a hostage that’s worth ransoming. And it focuses the Congress on something that must be done.”

Editor's Note: Economic Meltdown to Unravel in 2012.
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The young guns of the tea party started the debt and deficit brawl, but it took two men with more than 60 years of Washington experience to settle the matter. Vice President Joe Biden, who came to Washington in 1973, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who...
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Wednesday, 03 Aug 2011 12:07 PM
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