President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner meet in the White House on July 23, 2011. At that time, they were discussing how to avert a debt default. The talks ultimately led to the deal that now brings us aspects of the so-called fiscal cliff.
Credit Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images
If you're tempted to throw back your head and guffaw when you hear the word "negotiation" linked with "Congress" and "fiscal cliff," please, don't hesitate.
Because what you're seeing play out publicly between congressional Republicans and Democrats and the White House bears little resemblance to negotiation.
"The game that's being played is the same game that's been played over the past few years — brinksmanship, and hard positional bargaining," says William Ury, who knows negotiation when he sees it.
Throughout his first term, some of President Obama's critics said he wasn't a tough enough negotiator. They felt he caved to Republicans too early, too often. Since his re-election, Obama has subtly changed his approach. He's bringing a more aggressive style — but some critics say it's not the best way to find common ground.
Renee Montagne and Tamara Keith, on 'Morning Edition'
The back-and-forth continues between the White House and Republican leaders in Congress about how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff that arrives at midnight Dec. 31 — when Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire and automatic spending cuts are set to begin.
The big news Monday was the "counteroffer" put forward by House Republicans.