In the final hours before the “fiscal cliff” becomes a reality, President Barack Obama has left talks to… Vice President Joe Biden, who is reported to be negotiating directly with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
The Hill reported yesterday: “McConnell has begun talking with Vice President Biden in an effort to ‘jump-start’ the negotiations.” President Obama has adopted to remain out of the talks and supposedly above the fray.
The last-ditch effort between Biden-McConnell talks reportedly began Sunday evening, after McConnell and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) failed to reach agreement on core issues.
This is not the first time that Obama has delegated core responsibility to his deputy. He did so, most recently, on gun control efforts. He has also done so on the issue of helping the middle class and monitoring stimulus funds.
Vice President Biden’s extensive Senate experience may give him unique credentials in negotiating with the Senate’s top Republican. He also led debt ceiling talks with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in 2011.