Via Instapundit comes this tale of mystery and imagination:
"[Speaker Boehner] said 'There is no number,'" Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said as he exited the meeting [with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid].
"He said, 'I left the meeting yesterday with Harry Reid and I said, Let's be clear: We have no number because we have no agreement here.' And [Boehner] said, 'So help me I walked out of the meeting and all of a sudden they start launching out that there's this number,'" Lankford said.
Vice President Joseph Biden and Senate Democrats have said publicly that there is consensus around $33 billion in spending cuts and that negotiators are working out the details.
Boehner, however, has denied any agreement, most recently in a press conference Thursday morning.
"There is no number, that is what they told us, there is no number," Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.) said. "No number has been discussed with him at all."
Just to make matters more confusing, it appears that those possible $33 billion in cuts will be discussed as if they are actually $70-something in cuts, because they include "cuts" from spending increases that never took place. That's how they do accounting in Washington.
Tea Party activists and congressmen are wary of Boehner, whose bona fides as a big-government conservative were well-earned during the George W. Bush years. He pushed No Child Left Behind and TARP, after all, and a huge defense buildup (all while doing his best to keep war spending out of the normal budgeting process).
Reason.tv talks with Ohio Tea Partyers who are taking it to state and local officials, and busting Boehner's chops to boot: