WASHINGTON — With a post to his Facebook page Thursday, Sen. Scott Brown sent Washington scurrying to determine whether the White House had presented an offer to Senate Republicans to avert the fiscal cliff.
Shortly thereafter, CNN — and, later, NBC — echoed Brown’s report.
Just in: I was just told by an informed GOP source POTUS told McConnell he would send a scaled back fiscal cliff bill to hill today.— Dana Bash
nbc’s @KellyO reporting the president has sent a fiscal cliff biill to the senate - officials on cap hill haven’t yet seen it— Scott Foster
But the reports came as a surprise even to people who were closely involved in the ongoing negotiations to avert the looming austerity crisis.
Indeed, across Washington, press secretaries, communications directors, and other political staffers wondered if they’d been kept out of the loop on a new offer, before rushing to shoot down the report.
“Sounds like an over-interpretation of our readout of the president’s call,” a Senate Republican leadership aide responded. “While we’re expecting Democrats to finally act, I don’t have a specific time frame.”
An aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was more blunt. “Not true,” the aide responded.
The White House would not comment further to BuzzFeed, but some other news outlets reported that White House officials denied the rumor.