Obama’s view, which I share, is that the debt ceiling fight is far more important not only than the specific policies on the table, or even the catastrophic economic consequences of a debt breach. It’s a fight to preserve the Constitutional order. And conservatives have resolutely refused to grapple with that fact…If the conservative goal is to create the illusion of winning something for the debt ceiling, then they’ll come back next time to win more, and Democrats can’t allow that.Jon Chait’s take on why the Democrats are, in the words of the GOP, “refusing to negotiate.” Republicans would reply that Democrats have used the debt limit as a bargaining chip in the past, and it’s thus unfair to excoriate the GOP for “suddenly” attempting to upend the constitutional order. This is a disingenuous argument, though, as Dave Weigel has pointed out; the House GOP’s conduct now truly is unprecedented. source
We have not seen this in the past. That a budget is contingent on us eliminating a program that was voted on, passed by both chambers of Congress, ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court, is two weeks from being implemented, and helps 30 million get health-care coverage.President Obama • Pushing back against a variety of House Republicans’ demands, after Speaker Boehner announced intentions to attach yet another attempt at defunding the Affordable Care Act to a bill seeking to avert a possible government shutdown on September 30. The President also said that he won’t “create a habit, a pattern, whereby the full faith and credit of the United States ends up being a bargaining chip to set policy.” source
70+ votes for immigration reform in the Senate? That sounds rather crazy, but John McCain thinks “it’s doable.” There’s a feeling amongst some of the senators working on the legislation that if the bill gains majority support from both parties in the Senate, the House won’t have any choice but to put it to a vote. We are skeptical that either of those things will happen, let alone both. source
Instead of directing his cabinet secretaries to trim waste in their departments, he’s going to go after first responders. And teachers. And almost any other sympathetic constituency you can think of. And he’ll arbitrarily close parks and monuments too – all to force Americans to accept higher taxes. He’ll claim his hands are tied.Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell • Throwing tough words at President Obama regarding the sequestration deadline, which passed at midnight without a deal in sight. House Speaker John Boehner, while calling the cuts “not smart,” instead pointed out that his own party was on the hook to find a solution … but it hadn’t.
We have moved a bill in the House twice. We should not have to move a third bill before the Senate gets off their ass and begins to do something.
Because the sequester is (and is likely to continue to be) very ill-defined in the minds of most Americans, the politics of it will devolve into a popularity contest between the major players. Which gets us to the fact that Obama is at (or close to) his high-water mark in terms of job approval, while Congress sits in political reporter/used car salesman territory.The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, theorizing that there’s no way possible way Congress can win the sequester battle against President Obama. The thinking here is is based on three premises: One, that Obama believes the sequester ultimately will not be avoided, because Congress is dysfunctional and if they could have struck a deal on these cuts, there wouldn’t have been a sequester to begin with; two, that effects of the sequestered cuts will be felt by many Americans once they come into effect; and three, that Obama is significantly more popular than Congress. Given these three assumptions, it seems reasonable enough to conclude that if the sequester happens, Congress—and the GOP-led House of Representatives—will be blamed by the American public. It’s not a bad theory, though it’s still quite speculative given the assumptions. More information on the sequester here. source