Driving the Week: Shirking Responsibility

America is heading toward Round 2 of the Shutdown Showdown.  On March 18, the short-term measure to fund the government will expire.  On February 19, the House passed a bill to fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year, cut $61 billion in spending and block some of the Obama administration’s most egregious policies, i.e., Obamacare.

As legislative battles rage over the next 12 days, here are the key things to watch:

  • Spending. The White House and Senate Democrats claim they “pushed this to the limit” in offering $6 billion in cuts, whereas the House passed $61 billion in cuts.
  • Policy. The House passed numerous policy riders, which would block implementation of things like Obamacare, EPA’s global warming regulation and federal funding for Planned Parenthood.  The White House and Senate Democrats have deemed these policy riders unacceptable.
  • Length. On Friday, Senate Democrats unveiled their alternative to fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year.  Heritage Action believes there should be no more short-term funding measures.

While the policy and length are crucial, the issue of spending has dominated the news; however, conservatives cannot afford to lose sight of any of these issues – they need to lead.

On Townhall.com today, Heritage Action’s CEO Michael A. Needham highlights the absurdity of the President’s offer and the White House’s lack of leadership:

Last week, Senator Reid released an alternative that offered only a token $6 billion in cuts. It appears Senator Reid doesn’t have a real plan to cut spending. Enter Joe Biden. As you may recall, President Obama claims “Nobody messes with Joe.” Vice President Biden was tapped by President Obama to broker a deal between the House and Senate on the budget. With two weeks left on the clock until the next budget showdown, what does Joe do? He leaves for a five-day trip to Europe. I guess it’s tough to mess with him there.

There seems to be a pattern developing. In Wisconsin, when Democrats want to stall what Governor Walker is trying to do, they flee. Two weeks ago, faced with a continuing resolution passed by the House of Representatives, the Senate went on vacation. Today, Vice President Biden, tapped with brokering a compromise, leaves for Europe.

The House of Representatives has passed a modest $61 billion in spending cuts. These cuts pale in comparison to $474 billion in spending increases just since 2008. Now is not the time to be fouling off pitches. America demands and deserves bold leadership in Washington.

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