"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Obama Rejects Bipartisan Debt Proposal; Is He More Focused On Pushing Debate Past 2012?‏

July 25th, 2011 by mopns · No Comments

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jamie Dupree writes today, “President Obama last night rejected a bipartisan deal offered to him by Congressional leaders of both parties which would have provided for a short-term extension of the debt limit in order to avoid a U.S. Government default. The agreement involved Speaker Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Reid and Senate GOP Leader McConnell – in fact, staffers from Reid and McConnell’s offices were working on the legislative language together on Sunday. But when Reid took the bipartisan/bicameral plan down to the White House, it was rejected by the President.”

Writing for the Washington Examiner, Byron York adds, “But the GOP bill to cut spending and raise the debt ceiling, which would avert the coming default crisis, would also require at least one more debt increase before the 2012 election, and the president, working hard for re-election, does not want to deal with the issue again before November 2012.  After consulting with Obama Sunday evening, Reid’s willingness to work with the GOP disappeared.  (The White House has all along blamed Republicans for blowing up the talks.) ‘I think Reid wants to get this done,’ says the senior Republican.  ‘The problem is, the White House is so far out on a limb on vetoing anything that doesn’t get Obama through the 2012 election that it’s now kind of personal.’”

The White House has been remarkably candid about this goal. At his Friday press conference, President Obama said, “The only bottom line that I have is that we have to extend this debt ceiling through the next election, into 2013.” On Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley said, “The president’s position is, yes, let’s move forward. If there’s two steps, fine. But do not have a step in the second part that lets the political system once again show its dysfunction. Get this deficit ceiling put off until after the election . . . .” Asked by David Gregory on “Meet the Press,” “All right, I just want to be clear. The President would veto a plan if it does not extend the debt ceiling into 2013?” Daley replied, “Yes.” And on “Fox News Sunday,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner bluntly said, “We have to take that threat off the table through the election.”

 So what is more important to President Obama: averting a crisis and beginning to get a handle on Washington’s out-of-control spending, or ducking this serious issue again until after November 2012?

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