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The Democrats’ Failure To Lead

- April 8, 2011

Obama And The Democrats Have Made It Clear That They Have Never Been Serious About Fiscal Responsibility

 

OBAMA HAS REPEATEDLY REJECTED REPUBLICAN PLANS TO FUND THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR 

Obama Rejected The House Republicans’ Plan To Fully Fund The Military And Keep The Government Open For Another Week. “The White House and Senate Democrats rejected a proposal earlier Tuesday from House Republicans that would have funded the military through the end of the fiscal year and the rest of the government for one more week with $12 billion worth of cuts.” (Meredith Shuner, “Harry Reid: ‘Not Very Optimistic,’” Politico4/5/11)

  • While “Accelerating” Preparations For A Shutdown. “The administration accelerated preparations for a potential shutdown, asking agency heads to show their contingency plans to senior managers, according to a spokesman for the White House Office of Management and Budget.” (Jennifer Steinhauer And Carl Hulse, “Obama Rejects Further Budget Stopgaps, With Shutdown Near,” The New York Times4/5/11)

In March, Obama Threatened To Veto The House-Passed CR. "The Continuing Resolution (CR) bill currently on the House floor would keep the government operating past March 4. Some version of the CR is needed to avoid a shutdown since the Democratic-led Congress failed to pass a budget last year. Congress in December passed a stopgap funding bill to keep the government operating through March 4. ... The Office of Management and Budget on Tuesday issued a statement indicating that Mr. Obama will veto the CR bill as it stands ..."  (Stephanie Condon, "Is a Government Shutdown in March on the Table?" CBS News, 2/16/11)

In February, Republicans Passed A Budget Bill To Cover The Rest Of The Fiscal Year, But Democrats Rejected The Bill. “A House-passed budget bill for the remainder of this fiscal year, approved Feb 19th, proposed to cut $61.3 billion from the spending levels set when this new Congress began in January. The Senate has since rejected that plan, and the two sides have been fighting to reach some middle ground before a threatened government shutdown Friday.” (David Rogers, “New Compromise Target: $40B In Cuts,” Politico4/5/11)

While Failing To Participate In The “Adult Conversation” He’s Called For

All Sides Are “Peeved At Obama's Insistence On Having 'An Adult Conversation,' Given His Personal Absence From Said Conversation.” “NOT SURPRISINGLY -- Folks on both sides of the Hill and in both parties are a little peeved at Obama's insistence on having 'an adult conversation,' given his personal absence from said conversation for the last few months.” (Jonathan Allen, Politico’s “Huddle,” 4/6/11)

Obama Has Been “Mostly AWOL” On The “Big Ideological Budget Discussions.” “They're also talking about the big, ideological budget discussions that must occur in the future. ‘There are going to be I think very sharply contrasting visions in terms of where we should move the country,’ Obama said. ‘That's a legitimate debate to have.’ Really? So where has the president been in that debate? Mostly AWOL, so far as I can tell.” (Gloria Borger, Op-Ed, “Washington, We’re Done With High School,” CNN, 4/6/11)

“Averting A Shutdown Might Be High On Obama’s List, But He Must Not Want The American People To Think So.” (A.B. Stoddard, Op-Ed, “Obama Is MIA On The Budget,” The Hill3/30/11)

Obama Has Been “More Of A Pundit Or A Distant Judge” Than A Leader In The Budget Debate. “Perhaps Obama has the same fear of quagmires when it comes to the budget fight, but this is not a battle he can avoid. So far, he has been more of a pundit or a distant judge, rendering verdicts from afar on the behavior of the various parties.” (E.J. Dionne Jr., “Where’s Obama Resolve On The Budget Battle?,” The Washington Post, 3/30/11)

DEMOCRATS ARE CHEERING ON IMPENDING SHUTDOWN

“For All The Effort Democrats Have Put Into Portraying Republicans To Be Hot On The Idea Of A Shutdown, It’s Really Democrats Who Are Talking Much More About It — Almost Incessantly.” (Jonathan Allen & Carrie Budoff Brown, “How A Government Shutdown Could Happen,” Politico, 2/22/11)

Democrats Believe They Would Have “Political Edge On The Issue” If The Government Were To Shut Down. “Senate Democrats are talking about a possible government shutdown more than Republicans, a sign that Democrats are confident they have the political edge on the issue. Senate Democrats have met with senior White House officials in preparation for an intense clash with Republicans over government spending levels and a proposal to increase the national debt ceiling. The three highest-ranking Senate Democratic leaders warned on Thursday that a shutdown is a real possibility.” (Alexander Bolton, “Government Shutdown On The Lips Of Senate Democrats, Not Republicans,” The Hill2/4/11)

CNN Headline: “Democrats Eager To Talk Of Government Shutdown.”  “Senate Democratic leaders held a news conference Thursday to warn about the dangers of a Republican-forced government shutdown. But as one reporter aptly noted to the leaders, it is the Democrats talking most about shutting down the government.” (Dana Bash et al, “Democrats Eager To Talk Of Government Shutdown,” CNN’s “Political Ticker” Blog, 2/3/11)

Sen. Chuck Schumer’s Marching Orders To Democrats: Call Everything Extreme

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Was Caught Ordering His Fellow Democrats On A Conference Call To Call Republicans “Extreme” Instead Of Working In Good Faith To Pass A Budget. “After thanking his colleagues … for doing the budget bidding for the Senate Democrats, who are facing off against the House Republicans over how to cut spending for the rest of the fiscal year, Mr. Schumer told them to portray John Boehner of Ohio, the Speaker of the House, as painted into a box by the Tea Party, and to decry the spending cuts that he wants as extreme. ‘I always use the word extreme,’ Mr. Schumer said, ‘That is what the caucus instructed me to use this week.’” (Jennifer Steinhauer, “On  A Senate Call, A Glimpse Of Marching Orders,” The New York Times’ “The Caucus” Blog, 3/29/11)

Former DNC Chair Howard Dean: Democrats Should Root For A Shutdown

Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean Said Democrats Should Be “Quietly Rooting” For A Government Shutdown. “‘If I was head of DNC, I would be quietly rooting for it,’ said Dean, speaking on a National Journal Insider’s Conference panel Tuesday morning. ‘I know who’s going to get blamed – we’ve been down this road before.’” (Alex Roarty, “Howard Dean: Democrats Should Be 'Quietly Rooting' for Shutdown,” National Journal, 3/29/11)

  • Dean Said It Would Be “The Best Thing In The World To Have A Shutdown.” “‘From a partisan point of view, I think it would be the best thing in the world to have a shutdown,’ said Dean.” (Alex Roarty, “Howard Dean: Democrats Should Be 'Quietly Rooting' for Shutdown,” National Journal, 3/29/11)
  • Watch Howard Dean Root For A Shutdown  

DEMOCRATS ARE STILL PLAYING THE POLITICAL GAMES THEY STARTED LAST YEAR WHEN THEY FAILED TO PASS A BUDGET

ABC’s Rick Klein: “Obama Not Mentioning, Of Course, That Failure To Pass A Budget In Time For Fiscal Year Came While Dems Controlled House & Senate.” (Rick Klein, Twitter Feed, 4/5/11)

 “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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