How Your Fiscal Cliff Deal Sausage Gets Made

House Speaker John Boehner couldn’t hold back when he spotted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the White House lobby last Friday. It was only a few days before the nation would go over the fiscal cliff, no bipartisan agreement was in sight, and Reid had just publicly accused Boehner of running a “dictatorship” in the House and caring more about holding onto his gavel than striking a deal. “Go f— yourself,” Boehner sniped as he pointed his finger at Reid, according to multiple sources present. Reid, a bit startled, replied: “What are you talking about?” Boehner repeated: “Go f— yourself.” The harsh exchange just a few steps from the Oval Office — which Boehner later bragged about to fellow Republicans — was only one episode in nearly two months of high-stakes negotiations laced with distrust, miscommunication, false starts and yelling matches as Washington struggled to ward off $500 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts.[Politico]