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Tag Archives: shutdown fight 2013

Boehner Blames GOP for Shutdown

Appearing on the Jay Leno show last night, House Speaker John Boehner agreed with Democrats that Republicans were to blame for last year’s government shutdown. What’s more, he revealed he never believed in the fight and just went along because his caucus demanded it.

Listen, I told my colleagues in July I didn’t think shutting down the government over Obamacare would work because the president said I’m not going to negotiate,” Boehner said. “And so I told them in August, ‘probably not a good idea.’ Told them in early September.

But when you have my job, there’s something you have to learn. When I looked up, I saw my colleagues going this way. You learn that a leader without followers is simply a man taking a walk. So I said, do you want to fight this fight? I’ll go fight the fight with you.

But it was a very predictable disaster,” he continued. “And so the sooner we got it over with the better.

Boehner also said he’d never forsake the good life to run for president:

I like to play golf. I like to cut my own grass. I do drink red wine, I smoke cigarettes. And I’m not giving that up to be president of the United States.

And he offered a kind-of endorsement for Jeb Bush, saying Bush “is my friend, and I frankly think he’d make a great president.”

Obama Sets Up GOP to Take the Fall for the Economy

President Obama this morning signaled he will seek to use the shutdown to his political advantage, launching what is sure to be a repeatedly told message that GOP tactics harmed the economy.

Nearly five years into Obama’s reign, the economy is still growing painfully slowly and hiring is mediocre. But Obama has managed to elude much of the blame, and he intends to keep it that way.

Speaking at the  White House, Obama charged that the shutdown, for which he says Republicans bear responsibility, slowed economic growth:

These last few weeks have inflicted completely unnecessary damage on our economy. We don’t know yet the full scope of the damage, but every analyst out there believes it slowed our growth.

We know that families have gone without paychecks or services they depend on. We know that potential homebuyers have gotten fewer mortgages, and small business loans have been put on hold. We know that consumers have cut back on spending, and that half of all CEOs say that the shutdown and the threat of shutdown set back their plans to hire over the next six months.

We know that just the threat of default — of America not paying all the bills that we owe on time — increased our borrowing costs, which adds to our deficit.

Obama went on to claim that “nothing has done more to undermine our economy these past three years than the kind of tactics that create these manufactured crises.”

But he offered no proof that any of the shutdown’s effects have actually slowed the economy. He cited as proof a threat by a credit rating agency to downgrade America’s rating- but that’s not proof of a slowdown, and it hasn’t actually happened.

Republicans even aided our enemies, Obama charged.

But probably nothing has done more damage to America’s credibility in the world, our standing with other countries, than the spectacle that we’ve seen these past several weeks. It’s encouraged our enemies. It’s emboldened our competitors. And it’s depressed our friends who look to us for steady leadership.

The Bush administration has now receded five years into the past, so Obama doesn’t have his predecessor to kick around anymore. He needs a whipping boy. A few new red herrings for his pond. And now, he thinks, he has them.

Here is the full video of Professor Obama’s morning lecture, in case you slept in and missed class.

Victory for Obama? Not so Fast

Washington and the press tend to focus on the moment and act as if the moment will continue unchanged, forever.

The Republican Party at a nadir in the polls. Conservative House and Senate lawmakers sent to Washington to change Washington supposedly look like fools for  . . . trying to change Washington. The Washington establishment is proclaiming a “victory” for President Obama in the shutdown battle.

But the judgement that Obama has “won” assumes that the game is over. And the game is not over.

I wrote Wednesday that in fact the Tea Party was victorious in this battle, in part because its leaders in Congress had succeeded in making a stand against Obamacare and making it clear that conservatives oppose a vast entitlement that will fail.

Therefore, it only stands to reason that a desperate attempt to stop Obamacare will begin to look like a pretty good idea to the public should the program become the catastrophe conservatives are predicting.

The problem for the “victorious” Obama is that the evidence is already coming in that conservatives stood on the correct side of history.

That the Obama website doesn’t work is not just a technical problem. It showcases the impossibility of putting the government in charge of what is an imperfect, but for most people a relatively decently working, health care system. It’s only the beginning of the problems we will see as Uncle Sam tries to regulate and deliver your health care.

There are other ways to help the uninsured without putting the feds in charge of everything. We responded to a bad wound with a body cast. And Americans are about to begin understanding that.

In the short term, this is about to get personal. Because of the way the law works, the uninsured will have until February 15, 2014 to be all signed up for a plan or face a fine from the federal government.

But there is a real possibility that the system will not be fixed in time to get everyone insurance. Even if fixed, a certain percentage of people, having tried and failed a few times, will just give up. And then they’ll get their notice from the IRS that they must personally pay for the government’s incompetence.

What’s more, Obamacare needs about 7 million people to sign up – including 2.7 million health young adults – in order to put enough cash into the system to fund the cost of insuring older and sicker beneficiaries. With every passing day, the likelihood of that decreases.

This is not the end, but the beginning of a very serious game. The very credibility of Obama and the Democrats’ big government philosophy is at stake. If Obamacare fails, the nation may begin to frown on government in a way it hasn’t since the late 1970s, the era that ushered in Ronald Reagan.

With Obamacare, Democrats may finally have gone too far. It’s dissolution would mark Obama and his ideology as a failure.

And the “extreme” tactics of House and Senate conservatives will be vindicated.

House Approves Debt Deal Legislation

The House Wednesday evening approved by a vote of 285-144 legislation to reopen the government and raise the debt limit.

President Obama said Wednesday evening he would sign the measure as soon as he gets it.

A majority of Republicans opposed the legislation, with 144 voting no and 87 voting yes, while all Democrats present supported it.

The bill would lift the debt ceiling until February 7 and fund government operations through January 15. House and Senate negotiators must begin negotiations on an annual budget and come up with an agreement by December 13.

The legislation also includes a measure that would help ensure people who get subsidies to purchase health insurance are eligible for the benefit.

Senate Approves Debt Deal

The Senate by a vote of 81-19 this evening approved legislation reopening the government and raising the debt limit. The House is expected to vote later this evening and approve the bill as well. House Speaker Boehner supports the measure, though it’s unclear if a majority of Republicans will go along with him.

McConnell and Reid Reach a Deal

Note: This article is being updated as information becomes available. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell this morning reached a deal to end the government shutdown and avoid a default. The House is expected to vote on the measure first. Approval is by no means assured. White House Press Secretary… Continue Reading

The Tea Party is Both Sensible and Victorious

I realize that sounds quite delusional to many people, particularly here in Washington. But it makes total, absolute sense. The muttering class Inside the Beltway is very pleased with itself: The doomed Tea Party strategy is foundering on the shoals of idiocy, just like they said it would. The Republican “brand” has been downgraded yet… Continue Reading

Obama: I Have Consistently Sought Compromise

President Obama Tuesday declared that as president he has consistently sought compromise with Republicans, even as he refuses to negotiate with them on legislation to reopen the federal government and raise the debt ceiling. Speaking to WABC TV New York, Obama said of Republicans, “I take their ideas all the time.” I think that if… Continue Reading