Time for Leadership and Bipartisanship
Growing Debt and Government Shutdown are Serious Challenges
(Washington, D.C.) – The federal government shutdown is now in its third day, and little progress appears to have come from last night's meeting between President Obama and the bipartisan Congressional leadership, at which he restated his willingness to sign a bill that would fully fund all agencies with no conditions. (The federal government shut down on October 1, when the previous continuing resolution expired.) While funding for the salaries of servicemen and women were approved by Congress and signed into law, the White House opposes bills that would open select agencies, insisting on a "clean" continuing resolution for the entire federal government. Additionally, the federal borrowing limit is expected to be reached on October 17, and Congress is expected to consider legislation to raise the limit prior to that deadline.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative released the following statement:
"It's encouraging that the President met with Congressional leaders to discuss the current shutdown, as well as a vote that is likely to come soon on whether to increase the federal debt limit. But such efforts must be accompanied by a true intent to negotiate and be more than just an act of political theatre. The reason Washington is in this position is that neither party is willing to prioritize spending and commit to budget discipline. This is not how a responsible government acts.
The President submitted his proposed budget two months after the legal deadline, and not surprisingly, he and Congress never came to an agreement. It has been four years since Congress passed a budget. Now the government is shut down because of this inaction, and a refusal to work together. Instead of partisan infighting, it is time to go to work. The federal debt is approaching $17 trillion, and the government is adding to it every day. Our leaders must seriously evaluate our fiscal situation, funding necessary programs, at a level of spending the taxpayers can afford. The President's health care law is likely to make the problem worse – while limiting patient choice and hurting our already weak economy. The American people expect their representatives to work together. It's time they began to deliver."