House Democrats on Monday expressed outrage at the White House for how it handled the debt-ceiling negotiations, claiming the administration caved to the GOP and left them in the dark.
The irate lawmakers took exception to the lack of balance between cuts and revenues; they railed against the White House for excluding them from the process; and they accused President Obama of bowing to the demands of Republicans without putting up much of a fight.
“Our negotiators weren’t tough enough,” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said Monday. “They didn’t do the work.”
House Democrats have been steaming for months after they were largely left out of high-stakes talks to extend the George W. Bush-era tax rates and fund the government this year. Many protest that the administration takes their support for granted, ignoring their policy concerns.
“People have seen this movie before,” Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) told CNN.
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) described the package as “a Trojan horse with Scylla and Charybdis inside,” and blasted Obama for agreeing to the deal.
“It’s our conscience versus our president,” Cohen said.
Crafted largely by Obama and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the proposal locks in roughly $1 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years. Congressional leaders would then appoint a bipartisan panel to identify roughly $2 trillion in additional deficit reduction over the same span. If it fails, then automatic cuts of the same level would kick in — including steep reductions in military and Medicare spending.