Do they realize how foolish they look? Never before has a Speaker of the House refused to accommodate the President of the United States' request for a joint session of Congress.
Here is another reality, The President of the United States cannot force the House of Representatives to vote on anything. As a separate arm of government, it's not under the authority of President Obama so he can't just walk in and give a speech there without the House passing a resolution first. John Boehner refused to hold a vote to authorize a Joint Session. From his letter:
[T]he House will not be in session until Wednesday, September 7, with votes at 6:30 that evening. With the significant amount of time - typically more than three hours - that is required to allow for a security sweep of the House Chamber before receiving a President, it is my recommendation that your address be held the following evening, when we can ensure there will be no parliamentary or logistical impediments that might detract from your remarks.
I personally think this is bullshit, but that is just me. The idea that the President 'caved' is silly. What we are dealing with, and have been dealing with is a Republican-led House that is FAR more interested in party over country. That includes governing. That includes fixing the economy and creating jobs. Politics over country. Party over people. Listen to what Rush
“Would he turn down Clinton or Bush? He’d never have to turn them down because they have enough class not to do this, if I may be so blunt. This is intended to disrupt the Republican debate. It’s intended to make Obama look bigger than the Republicans, to look bigger than politics. And this is part of the presidential campaign and the House Republicans are going to have to realize that they’re part of it.”
Moments after that broadcast, the letter went out from the Speakers office, refusing the Presidents formal request to have a joint session to speak about the dire need for the House and the Senate to create a jobs bill. Guess what? The President DOES
look bigger than the Republicans. The Republicans look petty mean and uncaring.
Everything they do these days becomes a game of politics, and it is a game that has the American people suffering. I'm far more concerned about getting a jobs package than the scoring of political points. I am concerned about our nation's jobless crisis and I am happy that he's giving this speech next week, period. He didn't cave. What he did do is not participate in the Republican's childish fooling games. Those games don't create jobs and they don't affect change -- change that this nation needs badly.
Via Politico's White Board this morning, White house spokesman Jay Carney states
“Our intention was merely for the president to address a joint session of Congress as soon as possible upon Congress’s return from recess,” Carney said Thursday morning on MSNBC. “Both houses are supposed to be -- will be in session next Wednesday, so we asked for that day.”
Carney added that when Boehner’s office didn’t object at the time of the request, Obama’s formal letter was sent to the House speaker and the press.
“You know what? That’s fine – we’ll go Thursday,” Carney said about the day that was finally agreed upon. “Our interest is not in having a political back-and-forth here, at all. … Look, Americans are sick and tired of the partisan bickering, the gridlock.”
While there are many people who will say that Obama 'did it again", it is critical that this be kept in mind:
The Republican-led House has not produced any jobs plan. They are already threatening to block FEMA funding for the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. They have done nothing to get the economy stimulated and recovering. This is their job - plain and simple - and they are not doing it. They don't even want to to hold a vote to allow the President to speak to congress about these very issues
-- even after taking the entire month of August and the first week of September off for vacation. Is anymore proof needed about who and what the real problem is here?