Thankfully the last minute budget proposal to come from the Senate will not be ready by the deadline.
A group of six Senators, three Republicans and three Democrats dubbed the “Gang of Six” and in the absence of one of the members the “Gang of Five”, showed incredible leadership by waiting until the absolute last minute to come up with a plan to solve what the White House considers a pending financial “Armageddon.” If you cannot sense my tone I am using the term leadership extremely loosely.
President Barack Obama and a startling number of Republican senators lauded a deficit-reduction plan put forward earlier in the day by a bipartisan “Gang of Six” lawmakers that calls for $1 trillion in what sponsors delicately called “additional revenue” and some critics swiftly labeled as higher taxes.
The president said he hoped congressional leaders would “start talking turkey” on a deal to reduce deficits and raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit as soon as Wednesday, using that plan as a roadmap.
I am not sure exactly what “a startling number of Republican senators” means, but any bill that comes from the hopeless Senate that includes $1 trillion in tax increase ,”revenue” increases in Obama’s political language, will almost certainly fail in the House. I say “almost” because even with House Republicans standing strong on their pledge to cut spending and not increase taxes Republicans in general have a bad record of compromising their values for backroom deals. However, does the “Gang of Six” plan even matter if it cannot be put together before the August 2nd deadline? President Obama has repeatedly stated that he will veto any short-term budget bill. Or was the President simply playing hardball with Republicans to pressure them into compromise? White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said this today:
“The president does not support a short-term extension of the debt limit, period. The only exception to that is in the event that both sides reach a deal on a long-term extension of the debt limit plus significant deficit reduction, and we needed a very short-term extension, like a few days, to allow a bit of extra time for a bill to work its way through the legislative process.”
Meanwhile the House and it’s “Gang of 234” passed the “Cut, Cap and Balance” budget bill last night. This is the second budget bill to come out of the House while the Senate has opted to sit on their hands. But as far as the President and Harry Reid are concerned the “Gang of Six” plan trumps any plan that 200+ House members support. What is leadership again?
Once my primary computer gets back up and running I hope to have more on the budget mess.