Seeking to reclaim leadership on debt talks, President Obama on Monday night made a strenuous, last-minute pitch that tax increases be included in any deal, but Republicans’ top negotiator, House SpeakerJohn A. Boehner, said the president himself is now the chief roadblock to reaching an agreement.
In a hastily-arranged prime-time speech from the White House’s East Room, Mr. Obama tried to rally voters to demand Republicans compromise, warning of “sparking a deep economic crisis” if the GOPdoesn’t cave.
“The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government,” the president said in a hastily arranged prime-time speech from the White House’s East Room. “So I’m asking you all to make your voice heard. If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your Member of Congress know. If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message.”
Mr. Obama’s 15-minute speech — in which he used the word “compromise” six times — came three days after Mr. Boehner said he was walking away from talks with the president, and would instead negotiate directly with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat.
Those talks have produced two different plans: