by Rep. Greg Walden
In your family or your job, when you have a disagreement, how to you handle it? You sit down and talk, and find a solution that works for both sides.
On Thursday, I joined other leaders in the House in meeting with the President and the Vice President in the Roosevelt Room at the White House for about 90 minutes. It was a frank, useful, and candid conversation, and I wish it had happened weeks ago. We presented the President with a proposal that we felt met him half way, including a plan to address the debt ceiling and reopen the government. But it also included a call for serious, fruitful negotiations to reduce the deficit and America’s ever-growing national debt.
After the meeting, my colleague Jeb Hensarling and I talked to Sean Hannity about what took place.
I also talked to the Bulletin about the meeting, which you can read here.
We must do this. We must reduce spending and get Washington spending under control. We’ve made progress in the past few years. Because of our efforts in the House, federal spending has gone down for two years in a row for the first time since the Korean War. The Budget Control Act from 2011—which came out of budget negotiations with the President and Senate—was the largest spending reduction bill of the last 25 years, resulting in $630 billion in savings over five years and not a dime in tax increases. We’ve made some progress, but there is still much work to be done.
Unfortunately, within 24 hours of meeting with us, the President basically rejected our offer and moved on to talk with Senate Republicans, before their proposal was rejected, too. As I write this, the focus has shifted to Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to see if they can find common ground that can pass both houses of Congress and get approval from the President.
As you might imagine, people I’m hearing from are expressing strong feelings about the situation…strong on both sides. Stay tuned.