It’s the day after Congress voted to fully reopen the federal government and raise the debt ceiling. The senator I’m meeting, who would fall roughly in the middle of the Senate’s Republicans if they were lined up by ideology, voted with the majority. “I’m being shredded by the Tea Party radio people today,” he says, although he doesn’t seem concerned about it. “That is what it is.”
When Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew told the Senate Finance Committee last week that the Obama administration would never bargain over raising the nation’s debt limit, it was a declaration the lawmakers had heard before.
President Barack Obama had just won re-election and his top advisers were in Chicago for the victory party. As they savored the moment, hugging one another and drinking champagne, Chief of Staff Jack Lew killed the buzz.
Republican Senator Rob Portman doesn’t have a committee chairmanship or a leadership post. One asset he wields in the politically divided capital is a direct line to a prominent Democrat: Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew.
Washington being Washington, the hottest relationship in town doesn’t revolve around sex or even the next presidential election: it’s the political courtship of old antagonists, Barack Obama and John McCain.
Almost two-dozen Republican senators are threatening to oppose increasing the U.S. debt limit unless President Barack Obama leads efforts to begin cutting government entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security.
Republican Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin said today at a Bloomberg/Washington Post breakfast at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, that presidential nominee Mitt Romney needs to be more specific in telling voters how he would deal with nation’s fiscal crisis.
Ohio Senator Rob Portman said at a Bloomberg-Washington Post breakfast at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, that the U.S. presidential debates will help Republican Mitt Romney close a likability gap with President Barack Obama.