This week’s group of speeches along with the president’s willingness to shutdown the government show that Obama is challenging Republicans to meet him out back and settle this budget feud once and for all.
President Obama has made it clear that he would like nothing more than to make a deal to get rid of the sequester cuts, but he refuses to deal on Republican terms. Since his opposition is stuck on the word no, the White House has decided to play hardball if Republicans keep demanding nothing but more spending cuts.
According to The Washington Post, “Senior White House officials are discussing a budget strategy that could lead to a government shutdown if Republicans continue to demand deeper spending cuts, lawmakers and Democrats familiar with the administration’s thinking said Thursday. The posture represents a more confrontational approach than that of this spring, when President Obama decided not to escalate a fight over across-the-board reductions known as sequestration in an earlier budget battle with Republicans. The change in tone has been evident in repeated and little-noticed veto threats over the past few weeks by Obama, who has rarely issued the warnings with such frequency. He has made it clear that he will not sign into law Republican spending bills that slash domestic programs even more deeply than sequestration. If Republicans do not relent and the White House sticks to its position, a shutdown would be likely at the end of September, when Congress must authorize a new measure to fund the government.”
Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner responded with his characteristic weakness to the Post story. Boehner’s office is already trying to spin any potential shutdown as Obama’s fault, “This emerging White House strategy is consistent with recent administration threats to veto any spending bill unless Congress agrees to the president’s demand for a broader budget deal with higher taxes and higher spending – the type of explicit threat to shut down the government rarely seen in Washington.”
The part about a the threat of a government shutdown being rarely seen is especially laughable given that Republican Senators threatened to shutdown the government over Obamacare 4 DAYS AGO. Republicans are always threatening to shutdown the government. It’s their go to move. Republicans have threatened a government shutdown during each fiscal cliff and debt ceiling standoff. They are always threatening to shutdown the government.
President Obama isn’t playing along this time. In fact, he is taking the GOP’s favorite move away from them. Obama knows that House Republicans have to run for reelection next year. The president is betting that they don’t have the stomach for a long government shutdown. Republicans will see an advantage in shutting down the government for a little while as a symbolic gesture, but once military pay and Social Security checks don’t go out to millions of Americans they’ll be in a world of hurt.
The White House is cutting to the chase. If they want to pursue their second term agenda, they can’t waste time with this fight. Republicans are already divided on the idea of shutting down the government, and Obama is making bold strategic moves to paint them into a corner.
Barack Obama isn’t running for reelection. He can afford to wait, but the last thing House members want is millions of voters going to the polls with the memory of a government shutdown still fresh in their minds. The White House looks to be readying themselves for a political brawl. While House Republicans waste their time trying to repeal Obamacare, Obama is preparing for a showdown that could determine the outcome of the 2014 election and the direction of the remainder of his second term.