This afternoon, the GOP-led house of representatives passed one more short-term funding bill, this one would have kept the Government open another seven days and would cut the 2011 fiscal budget by $12 billion. Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader promised that the bill would not be brought up to a vote, and the President promised that should the bill land on his desk it would be vetoed, all but guaranteeing that parts of the Federal Government will be shut down tomorrow night.
The Republican party is between a rock and a hard place. On one hand they are sticking to their guns trying to cut around $60 billion dollars, but on the other hand they remember that during the Clinton administration shutting down the government was blamed on the GOP. That was then….this is now.
This time the GOP has done everything it can to prevent the shut down, even to the point of offering one more stop gap bill, something they said they wouldn’t do after the last one was passed.
Some will say that the reason Obama nixed the stopgap bill was the large $12 billion in additional cuts. That’s nonsense. Even when the $10 billion in cuts from the previous two stopgaps is added to the total, the resulting $22 billion is still less than the Democrats position for the entire funding bill, which stands at around $32 billion. The real issue is that Obama like the GOP believes that if Government shuts down it is the Republicans who will be blamed.
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Truth is if the government shuts down tomorrow, the fault will rest on one person, the president of the United States. He was the one who allowed his House and Senate leadership to skip town last October without passing creating or passing a budget (which was already late). He was the one who has not shown leadership during the budget process which was restarted with the new Congress and that’s not a claim made by Republicans but congressional members of both parties. He is also the one who when the GOP offered to extend the deadline by a week, said no.
When push comes to shove, if the government shuts down tomorrow night, its because Barack Obama wanted it to shut down.