FYI, “anger”, “disconnected”, “defensive” and “frustrated” are just some of the words being used to describe President Obama and Congressional Democrats this morning as they play partisan political games with the paychecks of 160 million Americans and threaten to shutdown the government. Long gone are the days of 2007 and 2008 when then-candidate Obama trekked across the country promising hope and change. Now, as Politico writes, Obama is giving into “anger” and his White House appears “disconnected.” See below:
Politico: “Obama And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) Seemed To Give Into Their Anger…” Frustrated by the House GOP leadership, Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) seemed to give into their anger this week and launched their own assault: putting the brakes on the final House-Senate spending talks in an effort to ensure that Republicans stay in town to deal with the payroll tax issue. As a result, the draft conference report—largely completed over the weekend—has been left in limbo for days even as the government steams toward a funding deadline of Friday night, when the latest in a series of stop gap bills is due to expire.
Politico: White House Budget Response “Appeared Even More Disconnected From What Has Been Transpiring In The House-Senate Tales Over Recent Weeks.” And this was followed by a longer White House statement Wednesday night that appeared even more disconnected from what has been transpiring in the House-Senate tales over recent weeks. For example, the draft conference report is described as “the Republican agreement” when in fact most of its content is supported by leading Democrats on the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. Moreover the statement seems to suggest that even now the administration legislative operation doesn’t know what is in the agreement and is only speaking to provisions “reported to be” in the package.
Roll Call: “Democrats Have Found Themselves Suddenly On The Defensive On The Payroll Tax Cut.” Democrats have found themselves suddenly on the defensive on the payroll tax cut — an issue they had dominated early but for which momentum has since shifted to Republicans after they successfully made the Keystone XL pipeline part of the conversation. They also have been helped by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's decision to link it to the appropriations process.
The Associated Press: “Democratic Leverage To Stall The Massive Spending Measure Seems Limited, Since It Raises The Threat Of A Government Shutdown.” The spending measure had been held up by Senate Democrats seeking leverage in talks on extending payroll tax cuts and unemployment insurance — two pillars of Obama's jobs agenda. But Democratic leverage to stall the massive spending measure seems limited, since it raises the threat of a government shutdown.
Politico: “Some Rank-And-File Lawmakers In Both Parties And Both Chambers Are Frustrated That Democratic Negotiators Have Been Instructed Not To Put Ink To A Handshake Deal On The Massive Spending Measure.” House and Senate Republicans are hammering Reid because he hasn’t yet produced a version of the payroll tax cut that can pass the Senate, and some rank-and-file lawmakers in both parties and both chambers are frustrated that Democratic negotiators have been instructed not to put ink to a handshake deal on the massive spending measure.
The Associated Press: “As For How To Balance The Federal Budget, More Now Favor Cutting Government Services As The Best Means To Bring Federal Spending Into Balance.” As for how to balance the federal budget, more now favor cutting government services as the best means to bring federal spending into balance. Sixty percent think lawmakers should focus on budget cuts over tax increases. That figure had been as low as 53 percent in August, during the showdown over raising the country's debt limit. The biggest shift on that question has come from independents. In the August poll, 37 percent said lawmakers should focus on increasing taxes and 42 percent said cutting services. Now, that divide stands at 28 percent for raising taxes and 59 percent for cutting services. The Associated Press-GfK Poll was conducted Dec. 8-12 by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications. It involved landline and cell phone interviews with 1,000 adults nationwide and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Budget and Spending Budget and Deficit Spending