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Democrats’ Budgetary Disaster

- March 9, 2011

Obama And The Democrats Display A Remarkable Inability To Lead Or Come Up With Serious Budget Solutions

OBAMA AND DEMOCRATS CONTINUE TO PROVE THEY LACK CREDIBILITY ON THE BUDGET

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Gives “Three Pinocchios” To The Democrats’ Claims That They Have Met Republicans “Halfway:”

The Washington Post Notes That Democrats Have “Done Little To Engage Republicans” And Cannot Claim That They Have Met Republicans “Halfway” On Spending Cuts.  “The Democrats' posturing that they have met Republicans ‘halfway’ on budget cuts does them no credit. Either they should take a stand and say they won't accept any further cuts, or they should begin a real negotiation that leads to a higher number. Obama signaled he was willing to deal when he said he was ‘prepared to do more.’ But the persistent claims of going ‘halfway’ when in fact Democrats have done little to engage Republicans on the issue will only hurt their credibility in the long run. Three Pinocchios.” (Glenn Kessler, “Obama And The White House's 'Halfway' Fixation With The Budget,” The Washington Post’s “The Fact Checker” Blog, 3/8/11)

  • Democrats Have “Barely Budged” In Developing Any Significant Spending Cuts. “Republicans -- and much of the news media -- measure the cuts from the 2010 budget, the last one signed into law. Under that scoring, the Republicans have cut $60 billion and the Democrats about $10 billion. The two sides are still $50 billion apart, but under this scenario, the Democrats have barely budged.” (Glenn Kessler, “Obama And The White House's 'Halfway' Fixation With The Budget,” The Washington Post’s “The Fact Checker” Blog, 3/8/11)

DEMOCRATS ARE IN COMPLETE DISARRAY DUE TO OBAMA’S LACK OF LEADERSHIP

Democrats Once Again In Disarray Over Serious Fiscal Responsibility:

While Democrats On The Hill Were Scrambling To Figure Out A Budget Deal, Obama Was Busy Jump-Starting His 2012 Re-Election Campaign. “On the same day that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was taking steps to jump-start bipartisan talks to avert a government shutdown, President Barack Obama was in Florida trying to jump-start something else: his 2012 re-election campaign.” (Jennifer Bendery, “Fears Grow As Obama Hits Trail,” Roll Call, 3/8/11)

  • Democrats “Might Re-Up” Their Complaints About Obama’s Lack Of Leadership And Biden’s Absence. “A senior House Democratic aide said Democrats were ‘at least somewhat’ relieved when Obama dispatched Vice President Joseph Biden to meet with Hill leaders last week try to hash out a budget blueprint. But that meeting ended without a breakthrough, and with Biden now on a weeklong trip in Europe, Democrats’ concerns about the lack of White House involvement may intensify. ‘After these votes fail and with Biden gone, it might re-up,’ the aide said.” (Jennifer Bendery, “Fears Grow As Obama Hits Trail,” Roll Call, 3/8/11)
  • White House Declined To Say Who Is Handling Budget Negotiations With Vice President Biden Away In Europe: “I’m Not Going To Specify.” QUESTION: “Who on the staff is the point person for these talks?” CARNEY: “I’m not going to specify that. Simply to say that a variety of staff members, senior staff members, have been in conversations with folks on the Hill about this.” (White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Remarks At Press Briefing, Washington, D.C., 3/7/11)

Even Democrats Are Critical Of Obama’s Failure To Lead On Spending:

Democrats’ Rejection Of Obama “Just The Latest Worrisome Sign” For The President And Senate Democrat Leadership. “The full-throated rejection of the president’s spending proposals by a politically vulnerable Democrat is just the latest worrisome sign for Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who have yet to rally their party around a unified spending plan. Indeed, Democratic leaders are having trouble just keeping moderates on board — Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) also have expressed skepticism that Democrats are willing to cut enough spending to satisfy voters and make a dent in the deficit.” (Jennifer Epstein and Scott Wong, “Freshman Democrat Joe Manchin: Obama Has 'Failed To Lead' On Budget,” Politico, 3/8/11)

Democrats Are Frustrated With Obama’s Lack Of Leadership On The Budget. “Democratic senators are frustrated with the low-profile President Barack Obama has kept during the rancorous spending debate dominating Capitol Hill, urging him Tuesday to take an assertive role.” (Manu Raju, “Democrats: Barack Obama Must Lead On Budget,” Politico, 3/1/11)

  • Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ): “I Would Hope That They Would Ratchet It Up Big-Time.” “‘I would hope that they would ratchet it up big-time,’ Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey said of the White House, echoing sentiments aired privately at a closed-door lunch meeting of Senate Democrats on March 1, according to several people who attended or were briefed on the session.” (Julie Hirschfield Davis, “Democrats Press Obama To Take Stronger Stance In Debate On Spending Cuts,” Bloomberg, 3/3/11)
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV): “Well, I think they [White House] should be involved more, and I think they will be…” (Manu Raju, “Democrats: Barack Obama Must Lead On Budget,” Politico, 3/1/11)

Nine Senate Democrats Spent Time “Whacking The White House For Not Being More Engaged” On Spending. “At a closed-door session on the budget, nine Democratic senators spent parts of the 30-minute meeting whacking the White House for not being more engaged, according to people who were present.” (Manu Raju, “Democrats: Barack Obama Must Lead On Budget,” Politico, 3/1/11)

Democrats Displaying “Open Irritation” With Obama’s Inability To Lead. “The open irritation with the White House comes just as Reid announced support for the Republican-led bill which passed in the House Tuesday and funds the government for another two weeks, while slashing $4 billion.” (Manu Raju, “Democrats: Barack Obama Must Lead On Budget,” Politico, 3/1/11)

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) Demanded To Know If The White House Had A Serious Plan For Spending. “‘If there is a plan, people here deserve to have some sense of what it is,’ Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said at the meeting, according to sources familiar with his remarks.” (Manu Raju, “Democrats: Barack Obama Must Lead On Budget,” Politico, 3/1/11)

  • “At One Point, Conrad Questioned Whether The White House Has A ‘Secret Plan’ Before Another Senator Interjected.” (Manu Raju, “Democrats: Barack Obama Must Lead On Budget,” Politico, 3/1/11)

Maybe The Blame Goes Both Ways Since The Obama White House Said It’s The Senate Democrats’ Fault:

White House Officials Are Blaming Senate Democrats For Failing To Get Involved In Long-Term Spending Negotiations. NBC’s CHUCK TODD: “There is some disappointment with some folks on this side of Pennsylvania Avenue that the Senate Democrats haven't been more of a -- haven't been more of a force in these conversations and that, really, the decision to get the White House involved was more to almost drag the Senate Democrats to the table more immediately and start working more directly with Boehner and McConnell on this.” (MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” 3/3/11)

WHOSE FAULT IS IT ANYWAY?

REMINDER: Obama And The Democrats Failed To Pass A Budget:

 “Some Version Of The CR Is Needed To Avoid A Shutdown Since The Democratic-Led Congress Failed To Pass A Budget Last Year.” (Stephanie Condon, “Is a Government Shutdown in March on the Table?” CBS News, 2/16/11)

Last Year, The House Failed To Pass A Budget For The First Time Since 1974, Because Democrats Didn’t “Want To Make Vulnerable Democrats Vote For Another Spending Bill.” ABC’s Jake Tapper:  “I want to say, the theory is that you don't want to make vulnerable Democrats vote for another spending bill, and that's why, for the first time since 1974 there isn't going to be a house budget.”  (ABC’s “This Week,” 6/13/10)

  • Democrats Didn’t Want To Encourage More “Voter Rebellion” In November After Voting For ObamaCare. “After betting their political future on a government-mandated expansion of health care to include millions more Americans, Democrats appear to have little appetite for more legislative showdowns given voter rebellion against government spending amid trillion dollar-plus annual deficits.” (Laurie Kellman, “Election Spooks Lawmakers, Curbs Congress Spending,” The Associated Press, 6/7/10)
  • “They Never Passed A Budget Or Any Of The Dozen Appropriations Bills That Fund The Government.” (Jonathan Allen, “The Huddle,” Politico, 9/30/10)

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