The election’s been over for a week, but Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) called out Obama on Thursday for continuing to do more of what he does best — plenty of posturing, but not so much on the actual leading. Congressional leaders are meeting with the president at the White House on Friday, but it’s not like both sides haven’t known what the other is bringing to the table for awhile now. Has President Obama gotten out in front of this pickle with concrete possible routes for compromise? Note: Just saying the words “compromise” and “bipartisanship” and “confident” repeatedly, do not count. From The Hill:
“Nearly four years after President Obama was sworn in, he has not yet given us a realistic plan for dealing with the deficit and debt,” Cornyn said. “I would think that now that the president has been reelected … he would feel flexibility to address this problem in a bipartisan way.”
“If the president is going to claim a mandate for governing, he at least needs to have a plan to address these problems,” Cornyn said on the Senate floor Thursday. “Unless the president releases a plan, his posturing over the debt cannot be taken seriously and threatening to go over the cliff if he doesn’t get what he wants would be irresponsible and violates the oath of office.” …
“We cannot continue to put off structural changes to entitlements,” Cornyn said. “We want to preserve Social Security and Medicare for our seniors … So far we’ve heard nothing from our president on how to fix our broken systems.”
Yes, we know all about President Obama’s plan to try and bring in $1.6 trillion in new revenue, but that’s not reducing our monstrous rate of government spending, is it? Where’s this balanced approach we’ve heard so much about? Because it sounds a lot like President Obama and the Dems’ definition of “bipartisanship” leans to the left of “you come towards me and I won’t budge,” and while President Obama might say he’s open to entitlement reform, certain Democrats have been poo-pooing the very idea of it.
Take it away, McConnell:
“They’re not serious about tackling the nation’s fiscal problems. And if we’re serious about helping middle-class Americans and helping this economy grow, their radical approach should be ignored.
“The other obstacle to success is a mindset that says the President of the United States is somehow a bit player in this whole thing, that he’s just a bystander sitting around waiting on other people to act. This is the mindset that thinks leadership consists in telling other people to ‘work it out’ while you continue to run a campaign to make sure they can’t. It’s ludicrous.
“The only way — the only way — we’re going to solve this present crisis, and get past the political stalemate, is for the President to lead. …
“It starts by showing that he’s serious about success. And let’s be clear: an opening bid of $1.6 trillion in new tax hikes isn’t serious. It’s more than Simpson/Bowles or any other bipartisan commission has called for. It’s been unanimously rejected in the House and Senate. It’s twice as much as the White House seemed ready to agree to during last summer’s debt ceiling talks, and looked at in the context of the spending cuts that are yet to be enacted from the President’s other proposals, it amounts to about 20 cents in cuts for every new dollar in tax hikes — in other words, no cuts at all. It’s a joke.
But, whatever. We all know we’re going to keep procrastinating and playing chicken with this thing until the last possible moment, so we might as well just go home and enjoy some turkey, amirite? Per Politico:
About that whole year-end fiscal cliff thing that could throw the country back into recession? Well, the Senate doesn’t seem too panicked.
With the sky about to fall in Washington, the Senate is shuttering its doors until after Thanksgiving week, having moved no closer to a tax-and-spending deal — let alone passage of major national security bills on defense and cybersecurity. The chamber couldn’t even pass a popular sportsmen and hunting bill that has been on the floor since before the elections, opting to wait until the week of Nov. 26 for a final vote.