The debt and deficit battle was lo-cal and caffeinated, according to behind-the-scenes White House photos...
The White House has released a new "Debt and Deficit Negotiations" Flickr photo set with behind-the-scenes images of Congressional Leaders in a series of meeting with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the White House during the July weeks of default drama. According to the photos, coffee and apples seem to have been the only fuel for the battle over raising the debt ceiling and cutting federal expenditures. In advance of the debate, the lawmakers in the photos were all at the White House on May 2nd for a bipartisan dinner, where they were served far more elaborate fare. Above, having Cabinet Room coffee on July 13, from left are: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
The President signed the debt bill on Tuesday; it has been declared a "Sugar-Coated Satan Sandwich" by one lawmaker, who was not invited to participate in the White House negotiations. The President himself used memorable foodisms to discuss the battle, calling it a "food fight" and asking lawmakers to "eat our peas" and "talk turkey." The GOP dubbed the President "His Jello-Ness" after Boehner complained that negotiating with him was "like dealing with Jell-O." Above, in the Oval Office on July 21, with the ever-present presidential apple bowl, the President and Vice President met with from left Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-ILL), Pelosi, and Reid.
Above, on July 23rd, it was again coffee time in the Cabinet Room, as the President and Vice President met with from left McConnell, Pelosi, OMB Director Jack Lew, Reid, and Boehner.
Below, apples were again fueling the talks on July 20, when the President and Vice President met with Boehner and Cantor in the Oval Office.
*Photos by Pete Souza/White House