As last week came to a close, it seemed as though Washington was inching towards a compromise. Although I was worried that the compromise would essentially mean a GOP cave on the issues that matter most. But as negotiations deteriorated over the weekend, it seems we are right back where we began. Today could be a crucial day in Washington. We'll bring the very latest during the show.
A bi-partisan plan – the Collins plan – was nixed by Democratic leadership over the weekend. This plan would have funded the government for 6 months, increased the debt limit through January, limited spending to $967 billion next year, delayed ObamaCare's medical device tax and required income verification for ObamaCare subsidies.
Not only did Democratic leadership say no to the plan but they then upped the anti. Democrats are now demanding that spending return to pre-sequestration levels. In other words, Democrats are demanding that we increase spending as a part of their deal to open the government. So much for that “clean” CR they've been demanding!
Now remember that sequestration is the law of the land. It is a plan that was devised and presented by the Obama administration and signed into law. Here's a quote from Obama in 2011: “My message to them is simple: No. I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending. There will be no easy off ramps on this one.” My how the times have changed. Earlier this year, we saw the President, his administration and his Party engage in weeks of apocalyptic doom-and-gloom if those cuts actually went into effect. They went into effect. Everyone survived. The scare-mongering didn't come to fruition and liberals looked foolish. Well now they are gain claiming that we must end these spending cuts. Why? The country is surviving just fine with these miniscule cuts in place. If anything, we need to be cutting MORE not less! Sequestration cut less than 4% of the growth of discretionary spending, and this is what the Democrats are hung up on? If they are demanding this, then they definitely won't be open to any of the real cuts we need to make on mandatory/entitlement spending.
Jamie Dupree lays out all of the details over these spending levels. He points out in his blog today: “Even with the spending caps in place, and no change to current law under the Budget Control Act, spending could go up starting in 2015 by about $25 billion each year for the next seven years.” So spending is still set to increase, even with sequestration cuts in place and Democrats will eventually get the spending levels they are currently seeking.
Why would Democrats suddenly move the goal post? Because they think they have momentum on their side. A poll released last Friday must have bolstered their own self-perception. But I do think that Democrats are overplaying their hand on this one, considering most Americans I do not believe are amenable to more government spending.
Meanwhile, the ridiculous shutdown optics continue. Over the weekend there was a Million Veteran March, which took place all around the country. The event in DC was attended by Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Sarah Palin, along with veterans, families and fellow supporters, honoring those who have served and sacrificed for this country. Barricades at the WWII Memorial were once again taken down and some were even brought to the White House. The way this administration has treated our military and their families is beyond the pale.
Oh and by the way, this government shutdown didn't stop the Bidens from vacationing at Camp David over the weekend. Meanwhile, average Americans vacationing in Washington DC still can't visit the White House and now are being blocked from visiting memorials. Just unbelievable.