NewsNation | December 04, 2012
>>> welcome back. our nbc news first read team writes today about house speaker john boehner 's, quote, power move . they write four house republicans have been stripped of their committee seats after it was determined by the republican conference that they were not team players. pure and simple, this is a power move by house speaker john boehner and the gop leadership to signal to their members that they are in charge. nbc news senior political editor mark muir pray joins us now. mark, this is all very interesting and intriguing in many ways. but the power move here, was there any doubt that speaker boehner and the leadership were in charge?
>> there certainly was some doubt looking back at 2011 and 2012 , tamron, where there are a lot of complaints about john boehner not having the reins on the tea party caucus. some of these members that you just mentioned who were stripped of their committee assignments were so concerned they votes against the ryan budget plan because it wasn't conservative enough. most interesting of all is the timing, tamron. this comes as you know we're locked in these negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff at a time when john boehner is trying to get as much discipline and needing as many team players as possible. so consider this a message that was sent not to just four members but the rest of the republican caucus .
>> i want to play another excerpt of the president's interview he conducted a short time ago where he was asked about sitting down and more face-to-face meetings with speaker boehner . let's play it.
>> speaker boehner was here at the white house last night for a christmas party . the two of you didn't even speak. what's it going to take to get the two of you in a room to hash this out?
>> speaker boehner and i speak frequently, and i think the issue right now.
>> when will you sit down in a room?
>> i don't think that the issue right now has to do with sitting in a room.
>> mark, is the president right? is the issue -- the visual of them being at the holiday party and giving each other the side eye and not talking is in itself hum humorous, but you do wonder about the dynamics behind the scenes .
>> president obama is right in the short term. right now it's the postures pr phase of the entire negotiations, but we're probably going to see the negotiations start in ernest around middle september, close to the christmas holiday season . at that point i wouldn't be surprised if president obama , john boehner , and other key folks are actually locked up somewhere in maybe camp david , maybe at the white house . that's when the big talks will start. not now but in the next couple of weeks.
>> back to the power move as it's described by speaker boehner . who are the strongest allies. we've seen paul ryan all but vanish here other than when we put the picture up on the committee and who is on it. who are the allies supporting speaker boehner that are team players?
>> there was a criticism in the suspicion about a year ago that even some of john boehner 's top deputies weren't always on board. that came about during the debt ceiling debate of 2011 where there was a lot of suspicion where eric cantor the house majority leader was on the same page with house speaker john boehner . right now as we see it seems like the republican leadership is completely unified, and that does end up bolstering john boehner 's ability to make a deal or enforce discipline with the party.
>> very interesting. thank you very