Peter Orzag, President Obama’s former budget director said on CNBC this morning that, “I think the White House in this second-best world won that round, but by not insisting that the debt limit be tied to that package it’s entirely possible they’re going to win the week and lose the quarter. You can’t know yet until you see how February and March play out, and I think there’s no doubt they have somewhat less leverage than they did in the round that just completed.”
Here is video of the U.S. Senate passing the Debt Limit Agreement by a vote of 74-26. It now goes to President Obama to be signed into law. The deal was approved by the U.S. House yesterday by a 269-161 margin.
Here is video of the U.S. House of Representatives passing the Debt Limit Agreement today by a 269-161 margin. As the final votes were being cast, spontaneous applause began to echo through the House Chamber as members realized Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords had entered to cast her vote. Giffords was casting her first vote on the floor since being shot by an assailant in January. The Debt Limit Agreement now moves to the U.S. Senate for a vote tomorrow, August 2, 2011, at 12 Noon ET.
Here is audio of House Speaker John Boehner talking to Laura Ingraham on her radio show today, where she asked him if it is true he told the House Republican Caucus this morning to “get their asses in line” and support his Debt Limit plan in the House. Boehner told Ingraham:
“I sure did. Listen, it’s time to do what is doable. This bill isn’t perfect – I told the members that the last couple of days. But that’s what happens when you have a Democrat-controlled Senate, and a Democrat in the White House. This bill, on Sunday, was agreed to by the bi-partisan Senate leadership working with me, and we believe we can get this on the President’s desk and make it law. So, we’re not going to give him a $2.5 Trillion blank check that let’s him continue his spending binge through the next election. It’s just not going to happen.”
As she introduced him, Ingraham pointed out that Mitch McConnell, Fred Thompson, Bill Kristol, Rep. Allen West, Rep. Paul Ryan are now supporting Boehner’s Plan to raise the Debit-Ceiling and cut spending – with no tax increases. The plan also only extends the Debt Limit until February 2012. About the Boehner Plan, Ingraham said, “Is it perfect…but this is the best we can do now.”
Liberal journalist Ezra Klein writes at the Washington Post today that “Republicans have won” the Debt Limit battle with President Obama and the Democrats, pointing to the fact that even Harry Reid is now said to be putting together a Debt Ceiling deal that has no tax increases, and cuts that more than equal the increase in the Debt Limit:
WASHINGTON POST: We don’t yet know what the final deal to raise the debt ceiling will be. But now that Harry Reid is developing a proposal with $2.7 trillion in cuts and nothing in revenues, it’s a safe bet that it won’t include any tax increases. Which means that whether Republicans realize it or not, they’ve won. The question now is whether they can stop.
Originally, the Democratic position was that we should simply raise the debt ceiling. Republicans said “no.” There would have to be a deal that reduced the deficit by at least $2.4 trillion — which is the size of the debt ceiling increase needed to get us into 2013.
Then the Democratic position was that we should raise the debt ceiling through a deal that reduced the deficit by about $2.4 trillion, with $2 trillion of that coming from spending cuts and $400 billion coming from taxes. Republicans said “no.” There would have to be a deal that disavowed taxes. . . . Read More
Byron York is reporting that Republicans in the House are getting ready to bring forward a two-part plan that would extend the Debt Ceiling in the short-term, and prepare for long-term deficit reduction:
WASHINGTON EXAMINER: House Republicans are finishing work on a new proposal to resolve the standoff over the debt ceiling. The proposal, set to be finished and crafted into the form of a bill by Sunday, will be in two parts. The first will combine a short-term increase in the debt ceiling with spending cuts. The second will lay the groundwork for a longer-term increase in the debt ceiling coupled with far-reaching deficit reduction.
“Senator Reid said on Friday that he is going to wait for us to move,” says a well-informed GOP House aide. “So we’ll move.” Another well-informed aide confirmed the basic outline of what’s happening.
Staff of the House Rules Committee is involved in the work, which is an indication that the process is nearing completion. Before any bill can be considered on the House floor, the Rules Committee must first pass a rule setting out the process for its consideration. Once the proposal is finished, it would likely be posted on the Rules Committee website, probably no later than Monday, so the committee could meet to consider it on Tuesday and it could be on the House floor by Wednesday.
Work on the new proposal was underway before negotiations with the White House blew up on Friday. Sources say the plan was being created last week, even as the House leadership devoted considerable time to passing the “Cut, Cap, and Balance” proposal. Once the Senate Democratic leadership blocked “Cut, Cap, and Balance,” House leaders stepped up work on the new proposal. Right now, the new direction is believed to be the only way forward. “McConnell-Reid is just not a viable option in the House,” the aide says, referring to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s complicated proposal to allow the president to increase the debt ceiling. . . . Read More
Here is video of Charles Krauthammer reacting to President Obama’s arrogant and angry statement late this afternoon in the White House Briefing Room on news that House Speaker John Boehner was breaking off talks with Obama on a “big” Debt Limit Deal.
Krauthammer blasted Obama for essentially acting like a “Banana Republic” Dictator, in thinking he can order around leaders of Congress, which he pointed out, is a “co-equal” branch of government in our system:
“This is Obama at his most sanctimonious, demagogic, self-righteous and arrogant. And given the baseline, it wasn’t a pretty sight. Look, he started out by summoning the leaders of Congress – summoning them at 11:00. Who does he think he is? In the American system the Executive and Congress are co-equal. The way he demanded their appearance in the Oval Office I thought was disgraceful. . . . The President offered nothing except if you go in the back room my staff will give you tick-tock – a detail of everything I was supposed to have given. He has never once spoken about real cuts. And lastly, what was interesting is even at the late date where he says that the fate of the republic hangs on the debt ceiling extension, he said if given a short extension of say half a year, I won’t accept it. Why? Because he says I want this to go past Election Day. That is self-serving and political and he pretends he is the one who is not interested in politics.”
A petulant and infuriated President Obama is in the White House Briefing Room right now, announcing that House Speaker John Boehner has broken off talks on doing a so-called “Big Deal” on the Debt Limit Crisis. Obama said, “we have now run out of time,” and he said he has ordered “Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and Harry Reid” to the White House tomorrow morning to meet with him at 10 AM ET.
The Democrats in the U.S. Senate have killed the Balanced Budget Amendment this morning, defeating the “Cut, Cap, and Balance” measure passed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Wednesday. In the video above, pathetic Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says, very pleased with himself – “It’s over, done and it’s dead”:
POLITICO: The Democratic-controlled Senate on Friday narrowly voted to block a Republican measure that would force Congress to pass a stringent balanced budget amendment and cap spending before increasing the debt ceiling.
The legislation, a conservative priority, never had a chance of passing, but the strictly partisan 51-46 vote to table the “Cut, Cap and Balance” bill highlighted the partisan divide in Washington over how to tackle spending and raise the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt limit. Before the vote Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) again called the plan “radical” and “one of the worst pieces of legislation to ever be placed on the floor of the United States Senate.”
The vote handed conservatives a chance to showcase their strategy for restricting future spending in Washington, but it faced a veto from President Barack Obama, so it was more of a symbolic vote for Republicans to put their mark on deficit reduction.
With Cut, Cap and Balance out of the way, the Senate rejection now clears the way for congressional leaders to take up a possible multitrillion-dollar deficit-cutting package or a fallback plan now being negotiated by the two Senate leaders. . . . Read More
It is clear that President Obama and the Democrats don’t want a balanced budget, because they don’t want to stop spending to feed all their Left-wing pets and causes. This straight party-line vote of 51-46 shows why it is vital for Americans to give Republicans at least 60 votes in the Senate, as well as the White House in 2012. America’s fiscal house will never be in order with Obama and the Democrats in control.
It’s also important to note that Obama and the Democrats have now rejected the ONLY plan offered to increase the Debt Limit. They have no plan, and if the Debt Limit is not raised – it’s on their heads.
The New York Post reports this morning a sign that President Obama may be starting to crack on his demand for a huge, long-term Debt Limit Deal that includes tax-increases. Obama had said he would not sign any kind of a shorter-term deal to raise the debt limit. But his aides yesterday began to sound like he would accept a smaller, shorter-term deal “if that’s all they can get”:
NEW YORK POST: The White House yesterday cracked the door open for a smaller, GOP-backed debt-limit deal to avert a looming financial crisis.
Statements made by a top aide show that for the first time, the administration could back off its hard-line demands for a large, sweeping deal to increase the debt limit.
For weeks, President Obama has touted a massive $4 trillion plan that would hike taxes, increase spending cuts and overhaul Social Security and Medicaid.
House GOP leaders instead offered a smaller deal with only spending cuts that would increase the debt limit by $2.4 trillion, just enough to last until after the 2012 elections. Obama’s top staffers for the first time yesterday said a smaller bargain will do, if that’s all they can get. . . . Read More
Um, yeah. As opposed to those “job-creating” tax increases, I guess. After all – Obama is doing so well at creating jobs!
Here is video of President Obama arguing today at his Press Conference that “the American People are sold” on raising taxes as part of a Debt Limit deal. Of course, Obama will not use the word “taxes.” It’s always, “a balanced approach,” or “revenues.” What he wants to do is raise taxes on the very people who start and expand businesses, creating jobs. He has failed miserably on jobs, and it’s not hard to see why.
Yet, Obama claims that “80%” of Americans want higher taxes! That is ludicrous on its face. You know that well more than 20% of the public is conservative – and conservatives don’t want higher taxes.
Even if you use Obama’s deceptive language of “a balanced approach,” or “more revenues,” I doubt seriously you could get 80% to agree. But Obama claims “poll after poll” shows that level of support for what he wants to do.
A Rasmussen Poll this week shows only 34% of Americans support a tax hike as part of a debt deal:
As the Beltway politicians try to figure out how they will raise the debt ceiling and for how long, most voters oppose including tax hikes in the deal.
Just 34% think a tax hike should be included in any legislation to raise the debt ceiling. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 55% disagree and say it should not.
There is a huge partisan divide on the question. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Democrats want a tax hike in the deal while 82% of Republicans do not. Among those not affiliated with either major political party, 35% favor a tax hike and 51% are opposed.
As you can see, in the Rasmussen Poll, only 58% of Democrats support higher taxes. Obama’s claim that “poll after poll” show Americans want higher taxes as part of a deal is simply delusional. That’s becoming par for the course from this President.
Here is video of House Speaker John Boehner giving a perfect description of the ideological divide between Democrats and Republicans, which makes it almost impossible to work together on any of the problems facing America. Boehner told Greta Van Susteren:
“There’s a difference between Republicans and Democrats. You know, I sit in this room, over the last several weeks – and frankly, over the last several years – and it’s like two groups of people from two different planets, who barely understand the language of the other one. Two remarkably different visions for what the appropriate role of the Government should be in our society – how our country operates – it’s stark, and it would shock most Americans.”
Here is video of Gov. Sarah Palin last night appearing on “Hannity” for an interview.
Palin weighed in on the Debt Limit issue, saying it is “nonsensical” to think the Federal Government can’t live within the money already borrowed – $14.3 Trillion. In her view, we don’t need to borrow more. She said Sen. Mitch McConnell’s plan to cede power to Obama to raise the debt limit unless 2/3 of Congress disapproves, “makes no sense.”
Palin said GOP Leaders Mitch McConnell and John Boehner need to stand strong and not back down to Obama. “Now is not the time to retreat. Now is the time to reload,” she told Hannity. By “reload,” Palin said she means “with reality by giving facts and numbers to the American public.”
On the idea there will be catastrophe after August 2 if the Debt Ceiling is not raised, Palin said she is not convinced that will happen. She slammed Obama as “shameful” for threatening not to pay soldiers or seniors if he does not get what he wants.
Here is the Drudge Report headline early this morning on President Obama’s angry walk out on the Debt Limit talks at the White House. GOP Rep. Eric Cantor described Obama as getting “very agitated” that he and other Republicans would not budge on raising taxes.
Here is audio of House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) describing President Barack Obama’s angry walkout on the Debt Limit Talks at the White House. Cantor said Obama got “very agitated,” and told him that “Ronald Reagan” would not sit here like this. Obama then told Cantor, “Eric, Don’t call my bluff,” that he was “going to the American people on this.” Obama then “shoved back from the table,” said “see you tomorrow,” and “walked out.”
Obama is not getting his way on raising taxes, and he’s acting like a petulant child. Republicans must not give in to his tantrum-throwing, not matter how bad it gets.