Unless lawmakers can come up with a continuing resolution very soon, the federal government will shut down on Friday. Insiders say that given the lengthy process of moving any resolution to passage the agreement must be finalized today to avoid Friday’s shutdown. At stake is the interruption of social security checks, unemployment benefits, Medicare payments, veteran’s disability checks, many government services and the layoff of tens of thousands of government workers.
The delay, as expected is all about money. The traditional Republicans have proposed spending cuts of $31 billion dollars. Their Tea Party members balked at that and have demanded cuts of $61 billion. Democrats have offered a proposal that includes $32 billion in cuts. None of these proposals puts a dent in the deficit...but that is the subject for another blog.
The President has been very quiet on this issue other than to urge both sides to compromise. He has invited both sides to the White House in an effort to mediate a resolution. He seems quite content to allow Harry Reid and John Boehner display their little hissy fits while he sits back appearing to be the adult in the room.
While this may be the best political strategy to take we would like him to take a different course. The President has very definitive ideas on where and how we spend our resources. He campaigned on them and was elected because of them. We would like to see him step into this fray and lead. We would like to see him speak boldly about his ideas for this continuing resolution. Regardless of one's political persuasion, no one wants Harry Reid or John Boehner leading the discussion about our troubled finances. We elected Obama. He needs to lead.