Driving the Day: Misplaced Priorities

Where’s Joe?

Yesterday, the man tapped to lead budget negotiations between the House and Senate left for Europe.  Today, Vice President Joe Biden is in Russia.  Why Russia?  According to Reuters, the administration wants to maintain the “momentum” generated from New START. Seeking to piggyback on a dangerously flawed international treaty is not the sort of momentum America needs.

On the home front, the Senate’s number two Democrat said cutting $6 billion in spending was as far as his party was willing to go.  Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said:

I think we’ve pushed this to the limit. To go any further is to push more kids out of school, to stifle the innovation which small businesses and large alike need to create more jobs, and it stops the investment in infrastructure, which kills good-paying jobs right here in the United States.

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) weighed in yesterday with a scathing rebuke of the administration’s efforts on funding the government and reining in government spending:

As we reengage in the ongoing debate over government spending this week, it’s worth noting that some on the other side appear to have already decided to fold up their tents.

Last week, Republicans showed we could change the status quo in Washington by cutting government spending. It was a small step, but it was a step in the right direction.

Where is the President?

Suddenly, at the moment when we can actually do something about all this, he’s silent.

As one columnist in the Washington Post put it, `For a man who won office talking about change we can believe in, [the President] can be a strangely passive president.’

On the greatest fiscal challenge of the day, he appears to have taken a pass.

Senator McConnell’s remarks are right on.  The American people share his desire to cut spending and enact the sort of reforms necessary to revive our economy.  During the next two weeks, it is imperative that Senator McConnell and his colleagues stand firm – they must not blink.

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