It's been more than a month since Vice President Biden, the White House lead negotiator, first visited Capitol Hill to meet with congressional leaders on the budget resolution. But as the countdown to a shutdown approached this week, the VP appeared aggravated with the lack of progress.
"Joe Biden wasn't flustered, but he was damn mad," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters Friday of the Vice President's demeanor at the White House Thursday night. "The numbers have been agreed upon. Last night they were agreed upon. It shouldn't be over title ten and that's why Joe got upset."President Obama sent Biden to the Capitol on three occasions in March to work out a budget deal. And while he continued to call leaders in the House and Senate, even while traveling to Eastern Europe, Biden failed to make any headway on the agreement.
Last week, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked if Biden was still the chief negotiator. Carney steered away from a direct answer saying, "we have a team of highly skilled negotiators," but, added that "obviously the Vice President is very engaged."
President Obama began calling leadership to the White House this week, expressing his own frustration with the lack of progress in multiple briefing room appearances. But Biden remained present in the oval office meetings with Harry Reid and John Boehner.