For Obama, There Are No Winners or Losers — but There Are Villains

Spoiler alert: It’s House Republicans. And the president wants them to play nice for the rest of the year.

President Obama speaks about the reopening of the U.S. government following a shutdown Thursday morning in the State Dining Room of the White House.
National Journal
Marina Koren
Add to Briefcase
Marina Koren
Oct. 17, 2013, 8:36 a.m.

Now that the gov­ern­ment has opened and the threat of de­fault is off the table, some are won­der­ing what the first shut­down in 17 years was for. A ma­jor­ity of Amer­ic­ans are fed up with Wash­ing­ton — and its lead­ers. In the shut­down’s af­ter­math, those lead­ers are be­ing neatly sor­ted in­to two groups: win­ners and losers.

For Pres­id­ent Obama, however, no one won or lost, and there wasn’t any eco­nom­ic ra­tionale for the shut­down, either. “At a mo­ment when our eco­nom­ic re­cov­ery de­mands more jobs, more mo­mentum, we’ve got yet an­oth­er self-in­flic­ted crisis that set our eco­nomy back,” he said in a speech from the State Din­ing Room on Thursday morn­ing. “And for what?”

But there are vil­lains. “Had one side not de­cided to pur­sue a strategy of brinks­man­ship, each side could have got­ten to­geth­er and figured out how do we shape a budget that provides cer­tainty to busi­nesses and people who rely on gov­ern­ment, provides cer­tainty to in­vestors and our eco­nomy, and we’d be grow­ing faster right now,” Obama said.

That side is House Re­pub­lic­ans, and the pres­id­ent is wor­ried they will con­tin­ue to block le­gis­la­tion for the rest of the year. He poin­ted to an im­mig­ra­tion bill passed by the Sen­ate earli­er this year that is await­ing a House vote:

The ma­jor­ity of Amer­ic­ans think this is the right thing to do. And it’s sit­ting there wait­ing for the House to pass it. Now, if the House has ideas on how to im­prove the Sen­ate bill, let’s hear them. Let’s start the ne­go­ti­ations. But let’s not leave this prob­lem to keep fes­ter­ing for an­oth­er year or two years or three years. This can and should get done by the end of this year.

And a Sen­ate-ap­proved $500 bil­lion farm bill that has been re­peatedly delayed by House Re­pub­lic­ans:

Again, the Sen­ate’s already passed a sol­id bi­par­tis­an bill. It’s got sup­port from Demo­crats and Re­pub­lic­ans. It’s sit­ting in the House wait­ing for pas­sage. If House Re­pub­lic­ans have ideas that they think would im­prove the farm bill, let’s see them. Let’s ne­go­ti­ate. What are we wait­ing for? Let’s get this done.

The pres­id­ent’s re­marks sug­gest that Amer­ic­ans haven’t seen the last of Re­pub­lic­an-led blocks to le­gis­la­tion in 2013. But Obama wants the House GOP to know it’s on thin ice with the White House. And he’s not alone: A ma­jor­ity of Amer­ic­ans blame Re­pub­lic­ans for the shut­down, and the party’s pop­ular­ity has hit a re­cord low. Mov­ing for­ward, get­ting a head start on ne­go­ti­ations — and maybe even budging on some these is­sues — may not be a bad idea for the Grand Old Party.

What We're Following See More »
SANS PROOF
NRA Chief: Leftist Protesters Are Paid
14 hours ago
UPDATE
NEW TRAVEL BAN COMING SOON
Trump Still on Campaign Rhetoric
17 hours ago
UPDATE
“WE’RE CHANGING IT”
Trump Rails On Obamacare
17 hours ago
UPDATE

After spending a few minutes re-litigating the Democratic primary, Donald Trump turned his focus to Obamacare. “I inherited a mess, believe me. We also inherited a failed healthcare law that threatens our medical system with absolute and total catastrophe” he said. “I’ve been watching and nobody says it, but Obamacare doesn’t work.” He finished, "so we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare."

FAKE NEWS
Trump Goes After The Media
17 hours ago
UPDATE

Donald Trump lobbed his first attack at the “dishonest media” about a minute into his speech, saying that the media would not appropriately cover the standing ovation that he received. “We are fighting the fake news,” he said, before doubling down on his previous claim that the press is “the enemy of the people." However, he made a distinction, saying that he doesn't think all media is the enemy, just the "fake news."

FBI TURNED DOWN REQUEST
Report: Trump Asked FBI to Deny Russia Stories
18 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump's associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign, multiple US officials briefed on the matter tell CNN. But a White House official said late Thursday that the request was only made after the FBI indicated to the White House it did not believe the reporting to be accurate."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login