Biden's Back

Posted by Lesley Clark on October 14, 2013 

Vice President Joe Biden -- who has been on the sidelines of the most recent budget battles -- will join President Barack Obama at the White House today for a meeting with top Democratic and Republican House and Senate leaders.

Biden, who helped broker a deal with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to avoid a looming "fiscal cliff" in January, has kept an unusually low profile this time around, reportedly at the request of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and some Democrats who didn't like the last deal.

As Obama met with Senate Democrats at the White House on Saturday, Biden was at the presidential retreat, Camp David, in Maryland. McConnell had personally requested Biden help out with negotiations in January and Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain on Sunday noted that Biden has "good relationships" with members of Congress.

"Maybe we need to get Joe Biden out of the witness protection program," McCain quipped on CBS's Face the Nation.

Biden's last public appearance was Sept. 30 -- the day before the government shutdown began -- when he addressed J Street's annual conference, delivering a campaign-style speech that proclaimed the administration's support for Israel. He didn't mention the budget battles in that speech. 

Since that time, Biden has cancelled a number of appearances, including a speech to the Human Rights Campaign's annual gala. He has, however, appeared on the White House daily schedule, attending meetings with Obama.

He met at the White House last Thursday with Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid, in town for the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.  


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