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Post-Vacation, Obama Faces Bitterly Divided Washington

Egypt, scandals, the sequester, Obamacare woes, and a choosing a new Fed chairman all loom large.

by
Bill Straub

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August 21, 2013 - 10:03 am
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WASHINGTON — President Obama reportedly enjoyed a nice respite with the family on Martha’s Vineyard over the past several days, but the pressing issues confronting him upon his return are unlikely to provide any similar sort of diversion.

From what promises to be a tense negotiation over a fiscal year 2014 spending plan to the deteriorating situation in Egypt, Obama will find himself facing anything but a vacation — with the possible exception of welcoming to the White House the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins. (Or at least most of them.)

The most important issue confronting the White House is the budget, or more likely a continuing resolution to keep the federal government’s doors open beyond the Oct. 1 starting date for the new fiscal year.

The White House and Congress have only six weeks to reach some resolution and the situation is further complicated by the government reaching its debt limit sometime in late October or earlier and the desire among some Republican lawmakers to defund Obamacare, a position that already has produced disagreements among congressional Republicans.

And there is the question about what to do, if anything, about sequestration, the automatic, across-the-board budget cuts adopted when lawmakers proved unable to reach an agreement on spending cuts two years ago. The Budget Control Act of 2011 imposed $85 billion in cuts last March and another $109 billion will be sliced at the outset of FY 2014.

Obama has called for an end to sequestration, asserting that the cuts represent a drag on the economy. Foes also are citing the news that 57,000 children will have to be eliminated from the Head Start rolls as a result.

Regardless, House Speaker John Boehner, R-OH, has consistently maintained that the president will have to accept even deeper budget cuts if he expects to attract GOP support for raising the debt limit above the current $16.7 trillion level. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has prevailed upon lawmakers to send the White House a “clean” debt limit increase, asserting that anything else will harm the fragile economic recovery.

“We’re not going to raise the debt ceiling without real cuts in spending,” Boehner said late last month. “It’s as simple as that.”

Some Republicans already have expressed a willingness to shut the government down if the administration refuses to adopt additional austerity measures. Meanwhile, several lawmakers are equally insistent that any spending package defund Obamacare appropriations. Sen. Mike Lee, R-UT, is heading the offensive with support from like-minded Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, and Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY.

“The best way to delay Obamacare is to defund it,” Lee said. “Once Congress returns from the August work period, the House should act quickly to pass a continuing resolution that funds the government, but not Obamacare.  It is the only responsible course of action to protect Americans from this ill-conceived and poorly crafted policy before it is too late.”

Obama is likely to veto any funding measure that fails to provide money necessary for his top initiative. House and Senate GOP leaders are wary of the tactic, concerned that the party will be held responsible for any governmental shutdown. But various Tea Party organizations are vowing to fund primary challenges against those Republicans who don’t stand solidly against the program.

If all that wasn’t bad enough, Congress isn’t even scheduled to return to Washington until Sept. 9, giving both sides less than a month to develop a compromise.

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All Comments   (15)
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What reason is there a POWER of the purse? Why does the House of Representatives hold it? A quote from Federalist Paper #78: " The House of Representatives cannot only refuse, but they alone can propose, the supplies requisite for the support of government. They, in a word, hold the purse that powerful instrument by which we behold, in the history of the British Constitution, an infant and humble representation of the people gradually enlarging the sphere of its activity and importance, and finally reducing, as far as it seems to have wished, all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government. This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure."
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
If Republicans force Obama to play Russian Roulette with the budget BUT tell Obama that he can chose his chamber AND THEN Obama picks the loaded one, how is that the Republicans' fault?
I think the Republicans WANT it to be their fault so they can hold up this as an excuse to skirt the issue.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
If the Republicans fund everything in the government with the exception of ObamaCare; how is it the Republicans fault if Obozo is so in love with his "legacy", that he'd rather see the government shut down than lose it.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Its all the repubs fault, because obama and the MSM says it is.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Seems like more and more people are seeing the real Barry O. Racist divider, anti-American, pro Muslim and Sharia, open borders, socialist. The list goes on.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
All the woes(false) from sequestration don't come to pass. False flags everywhere.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Isn't Summer a tax cheat - or, excuse me - someone who failed to take advantage of all the tax perks he and his accountants might have claimed?

Sorry for the confusion there.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Apparently this author thinks the position of the Tea Party people that they will pass all funding required but not Obamacare is too incendiary as if their position were that are not willing to fund the government.

They are willing to fund the government. Just not Obamacare. The answer - we need many more Tea Party people.

It may be only a passing interest of some to focus on why we do not have more, but I will argue that they elected 60 people in 2010 and then accepted Conservative control and elected no one else and that is no coincidence.

For example you certainly cannot say that the continued presence of McCain and Graham is their doing.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, visited the country last week and have called on the president to suspend U.S. aid, asserting in a statement that the military is “taking Egypt down a dark path, one that the United States cannot and should not travel with them.”

Could it be fear that someone here might get the idea that this might be a way to get rid of Obama?
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
I keep getting sidetracked by the name of the summer replacement White House spokesperson.

Josh Earnest?

They have replaced the moron with an oxymoron.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
"after the unpopular but democratically elected president"

I doubt that "democracy" had anything to do with the election of Morsi ...
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Reply to self:
WND reported possible links with Obama's Kenyan brother wirh the Muslim Brotherhood and more:
http://www.wnd.com/2013/08/obamas-brother-linked-to-muslim-brotherhood/

More details are forthcoming apparently ... and if this is true; then Obama has some 'splainin' to do because it may explain why Obama's so cozy with the MB.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Excuse me but they didn't suggest it, the proved it.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
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