Congressional leaders quietly leave White House

Pelosi called fiscal cliff meeting "constructive" but no sense was given about progress in negotiations

Topics: Fiscal cliff, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, U.S. Economy, White House, ,

After meeting for little more than an hour, Congressional leaders left the White House, mostly offering no comment to the press. John Boehner and Mitch McConnell were seen leaving but offered no comment, while according to reports, Nancy Pelosi gave a brief statement, noting “I think it moved us forward.”

While Pelosi described the meeting as “candid and constructive,” little sense was given about concrete progress on the unlikely task of reaching a palatable deal.

According to Bloomberg News, President Obama “is seeking an up-or-down vote on his proposal to extend tax cuts for annual income up to $250,000, absent a counteroffer from congressional leaders” — which basically means that if no counteroffer is put forward that is mutually agreeable, the president will seek a vote on his proposal that everyone must take part in and that cannot be procedurally evaded — which doesn’t sound wildly desperate at all.

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The Guardian’s Richard Adams, whose liveblog today delightfully featured a series of images he titled “politicians getting out of cars” commented on Boehner and McConnell leaving the meeting without addressing the press:

Is that a good or bad sign? If the meeting was a stinker, then presumably Boehner and McConnell would have taken to the mics to say so. Similarly, if it was all group hugs and a deal, they would have talked to the press.

But nothing? Let’s wait and see.

Natasha Lennard
Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email

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