Obama becomes more involved in budget negotiations
Updated, 3:50 p.m.
The White House is trying to more directly engage in budget talks on Capitol Hill, after taking criticism from both parties for not doing enough to avert an impasse.
As a two-week stopgap spending plan was passed in the Senate on Wednesday, Obama called for Vice President Biden and other top advisers to meet with congressional leaders to negotiate an agreement on a longer-term deal.
After being vague about exactly what a compromise would look like, the White House in the last two days has criticized the kind of short-term resolution that Congress approved this week, even calling for a measure that would cut $8 billion but fund the government for a month.
"We cannot keep doing business this way.," Obama said in a statement. "Living with the threat of a shutdown every few weeks is not responsible, and it puts our economic progress in jeopardy."
His shift comes after House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said on Monday that Obama should have done more. And on Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) sidestepped a question about whether the administration had been doing enough before this week.
"I'm glad they're in it now," he said of the negotiating process.
White House officials privately do not believe a government shutdown would be a political boon to them as it was for President Clinton in the 1990s. They expect both parties would be blamed for the disruption and it would hurt the economy, which they view as the biggest concern for most Americans and for next year's elections.
A Washington Post poll released this week found that 36 percent of those surveyed said Republicans would be at fault if the two sides cannot reach a budget deal in time to avert a shutdown, and 35 percent say primary responsibility would rest with the Obama administration.
But until this week, they had not offered many details about their views of the budget negotiations. Facing criticism, White House officials took the unusual step of telling reporters on Tuesday the president had spoken to Boehner about the budget challenges.
Perry Bacon Jr.
| March 2, 2011; 3:50 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency
Save & Share: Previous: Huckabee claims inaccurately that Obama was raised in Kenya
Next: Real Rahm meets fake Twitter Rahm
Posted by: flyfshr1cd | March 3, 2011 7:09 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Loxinabox | March 3, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: flyfshr1cd | March 3, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: flyfshr1cd | March 3, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Tell-the-Truth-Please | March 2, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: takebackamerica1 | March 2, 2011 7:01 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Bubbette1 | March 2, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse