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Friday, October 02, 2015

Obama Ups Government Shutdown Ante

by JASmius

Well, John Boehner may not have wanted a government shutdown, and Mitch McConnell may not have wanted a government shutdown, but Barack Obama appears to want one more than Sheldon Cooper lusts after the train that destroyed the DeLorian at the end of Back To The Future III:

Barack Obama on Friday [commanded] the U.S. Congress to approve a bill to fund the government for the current fiscal year to avoid doing damage to the economy at a time global growth is slowing.

Like he cares about an economy on whose neck he's been keeping his hobnail boot for the past seven years.  He just wants more spending, period.  Because the "austerity" of adding a mere half-trillion dollars to the national debt every year is just too much "deprivation" to bear.

"I will not sign another short-[term] spending bill," Obama told a White House news conference. He said a short-term spending bill passed by lawmakers this week set up an opportunity for a new crisis before Christmas.

See?  Keeping the government "open" is no longer good enough.  He wants unconditional surrender.  He wants his budget and nothing else or the whole thing (i.e. 1/6th of it) can shut down forever and it'll be all the GOP's fault as far as he and the bulk of the American public is concerned.

Did Boehner and McConnell's preemptive rule-out of a shutdown showdown give up the leverage necessary to deter this White House brinksmanship?  Actually, no, as congressional Republicans never had any leverage to begin with.

On Wednesday, just hours before a midnight deadline when government agency funds were due to run out, Congress approved extending existing spending through December 11th.

That gives Congress and the White House ten weeks to settle on spending priorities for the remainder of the new fiscal year, which ends on September 30th, 2016.

No, actually, it gives Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats ten weeks to settle on spending priorities for the remainder of Fiscal 2016, since the latter will filibuster anything the former offer up short of Barack Obama's budget.  And then Senate Republicans will pass Obama's budget because they're terrified of another government shutdown that they know they'll lose.  Which they would.

There are deep differences between Obama and congressional Republicans.

That will be resolved entirely in Obama's favor.

Obama wants to lift tough spending caps enacted a few years ago that impose across-the-board savings. Some conservative Republicans want to bust those caps for the military, but not for domestic programs. The disagreement has led to fears of government shutdowns just before Christmas, when current funds expire.

Which will never happen, and we all know it, and O has just told us how it's going to turn out, so why waste any more time griping about it?

Congress "can't flirt with another shutdown. It has to pass a serious budget" and "get rid of some of these mindless cuts," Obama said.

And they'll do it, too.

And you all know why.

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