Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and a single staff member had slipped into the ceremonial office of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to try to hash out a compromise directly with the vice president, who was accompanied by a top aide of his own, Ron Klain, his chief of staff.
The meeting was one of a number of direct conversations over the next few days between Mr. Biden and Mr. McConnell, the Senate Republican leader and a Senate colleague of Mr. Biden’s for nearly 25 years, that ultimately led to the agreement reached Monday. It was a bipartisan bargain that — in a startling departure from the past two years in the capital — ended with Republicans praising it and Democrats claiming they were blindsided and undercut.
In a forceful presentation, however, Biden made it clear that big changes are not in the cards. “The vice president said: ‘This is the deal. Take it or leave it,’ ” an irritated Rep. Henry A. Waxman (Calif.) said, paraphrasing Biden.
Funny how Republicans never get told, “Take it or leave it.”
Anyway, why is the White House meeting directly with members of Congress? There’s really nothing they can do to change members’ minds about anything, so they’re just wasting their time.