The fiscal austerity crisis has been temporarily averted, but given the apparent animosity between the current leaders of Congress it's a miracle that any deal was made at all. Politico has a rather lengthy breakdown of the last week or so of negotiations that led to last night's budget bill and it leads off with an anecdote illustrating the current state of American politics. As they arrived for a much-hyped meeting with the President last Friday afternoon, Speaker of the House John Boehner spotted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid* approaching just steps from the Oval Office. According to "multiple sources," Boehner pointed his finger at Reid and without any other fanfare said, "Go fuck yourself." When Reid asked him what he was talking about, Boehner simply repeated his curse and moved on.
To be fair to Boehner, just one day earlier Reid had called him a dictator on the floor of the Senate, telling the whole country in a widely televised speech that the Speaker cared more about protecting his job than doing what was right for the American people. And it won't be the first nor the last time a Congressperson swore at a fellow lawmaker. Still, it maybe helps explain why the two sides seem more intent on destroying each other than actually passing useful laws.
The Politico story also has plenty of other tidbits on the back room shenanigans the lead to the deal, if you're into that sort of thing.
*This story previously misidentified Harry Reid as the house majority leader. Thanks to commenter DJJG for spotting the typo.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.