Morning Action: The Budget Battle Continues

MIKE NEEDHAM.  Michael A. Needham told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd Friday morning that Heritage Action is the iTunes of politics, and that conservatives are interested in good policy, not the silly inside Washington games Speaker John Boehner is playing.

BUDGET.  The House voted Thursday evening to pass the Ryan-Murray budget, which increases spending by $63 billion over the next two years.


CQ reports (sub. req’d) Senate Minority Whip Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) 47% predicted the budget deal will also pass in the Senate:

Cornyn’s prediction came before House Republican leaders pushed the deal through that chamber Thursday night by a 332-94 vote. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and other top Senate Republicans have taken a much different stance than their House counterparts on the agreement, with leadership displaying little more than cool indifference and leaving it to Democrats to marshal support.

They also made clear, however, that they had no plans to try to block the agreement or offer their own alternative, for now.

OBAMACARE.  It doesn’t look like Tweets like this and other efforts by the White House to get people to sign up for Obamacare are working… and no, it’s not just because of the typos.  It’s just that Obamacare doesn’t give people peace of mind — it gives most of them higher premiums and higher deductibles.

According to CNBC, Obamacare enrollment will fall short of the White House’s goals in 2014:

The lingering effects of the troubled rollout of may result in enrollment on the exchanges falling short of the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of 7 million people for 2014. Because some of those problems will stretch into the New Year, I think we’ll see 4 million to 5 million people signing on for exchange insurance plans by the end of the open enrollment period in March.

January marks another big deadline for the federal health exchange. That’s when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) must complete the critical financial management system. That’s the back-end part of the site that reconciles enrollment numbers and subsidy payments for premiums to the insurance carriers.

OBAMA.  President Obama is responding to his abysmally low numbers in the polls by moving further to the left:

President Barack Obama wants to sound like a different kind of Democrat.

He’s connecting to progressive populism with an aggressive, spending-oriented, activist government approach to the economy personified by Elizabeth Warren and Bill de Blasio. Obama’s already backed raising the minimum wage, the start of what White House officials say will be a 2014 domestic agenda — including his State of the Union address and budget — that centers around income inequality and what the government is doing to increase economic mobility.

That means changing how he talks about some familiar items, including the Affordable Care Act and the universal pre-kindergarten plan from his 2013 State of the Union, as well as pitching an array of new proposals flowing from this new emphasis.

Obama needs his base invested to help him recover from his low poll numbers and give his party a platform as Democrats try to make the House competitive and hold onto to their majority in the Senate. And those in the coalition that won Obama two elections — young people, African-Americans, Latinos, single women and immigrants — are precisely the ones hit hardest by the doldrum economy.



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