President Obama looked the House Republicans threatening our economy in the eye today, and responded with a big fat no to every single demand that they are making.
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The president began by announcing that he spoke to the Iranian president on the phone. This is the first phone conversation between the leaders of the two countries since 1979. Obama also talked about a UN resolution on Syria.
Obama then moved on to Congress. He said that Congress is responsible for passing a budget and paying our bills. He praised the Senate for their CR vote, and told the House that it is up to them to do the same. He said, “This debate isn’t really about deficits.” The president pointed out that our deficits are falling at the fastest rate in 60 years. He said House Republicans are so concerned with appeasing the tea party that they are threatening to shutdown the government unless he guts or delays the ACA.
The president repeated, “That’s not going to happen.”
Obama said that if House Republicans have an ideas for improving healthcare, he is happy to work with them, but he made it clear that he will not be moved by threats of a government shutdown. The president said, “Any Republican in Congress who is currently watching, I encourage you to think about who you are hurting.” Obama used the words of Republican senators and governors to tell the House to knock it off, and get this done.
President Obama said not raising the debt ceiling would be worse than a government shutdown. It would be an economic shutdown. The president warned that a default would have a destabilizing effect on the world economy.
Obama said, “Nobody gets to threaten the full faith and credit of the United States just to extract some political concessions.”
He said that he will not set that precedent, “That is not how our constitutional system is designed. We’re not going to do it.”
The president’s message to House Republicans was, “Do not shut down the government. Do not shutdown our economy. Pass a budget. Pay our bills on time.” The president added later, “Do not threaten to burn the house down because you haven’t gotten 100% of what you want.”
President Obama has made his position clear. He is not going to negotiate. He will not respond to House Republican threats, and they are not going to get what they want. If Obama sounded like he was scolding misbehaving children, it’s because he was. House Republicans are throwing a tantrum and making demands. The President of the United States has to be the adult in the room who lays out the boundaries and says no.
If the Republican plan was to scare Obama into getting what they want, it’s not working. They are the ones who should be scared. Should the economy be thrown into recession again, it will be the names of House Republicans on the ballot next year. Obama isn’t running. He can afford to play hardball. It’s obvious that House Republicans continue to misjudge the toughness of this president. They keep threatening him, but Obama never blinks.
This is not going to end well for the House Republicans. Obama’s no will never turn to yes, and the clock is ticking towards a government shutdown.
Your move, Ted Cruz.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association