Speaker John A. Boehner's office released a roughly one-minute clip taking a couple of shots at President Barack Obama and illustrating what Republicans in Congress see as a hypocrisy: Obama will negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Syria, but he won't negotiate with the GOP on the debt ceiling.
The video from the Ohio Republican strikes a sort of too-serious-to-be-funny, too-funny-to-be-serious tone, but it's interesting political theater — especially when Putin reaches for and inspects what looks to be a cupcake.
While Syria has largely evaporated as an issue in Congress, Republicans apparently feel there are still political points to be won on the matter. And Republicans certainly feel there are political gains to be made in return for raising the debt ceiling.
The White House has repeatedly said it will not negotiate with Congress over paying the bills that it racked up. But Republicans are just as adamant that the White House does negotiate, and they believe Obama's position is untenable.
House GOP leadership says it has more leverage with the debt ceiling than it does with the continuing resolution — noting polling opposing raising the debt ceiling — and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., laid out a plan Wednesday that would extend the debt limit for one year in return for a one-year delay to Obamacare, the Keystone XL pipeline and other items.
Whatever the end result, the White House and Congress will have to come up with a solution quickly. The U.S. Treasury Department says it will run out of borrowing authority sometime in mid-October.