President Obama’s Absence Of Leadership Strangles ‘Super Committee’

HARRISBURG — Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason released the following statement after the Joint Select Committee failed to reach an agreement to solve our nation’s debt crisis:

“This is another example of President Obama’s absence of leadership on solving our nation’s debt crisis, using the Super Committee as a political football to avoid placing blame on his complete failure to get our economy moving again. President Obama doomed the Super Committee from the start, insisting that $450 billion of his pet stimulus projects were included in the final deal and promised a veto if an agreement came to his desk without a tax increase. While Republicans, including Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, negotiated in good faith until the deadline, Washington Democrats were still unwilling to compromise by insisting on dramatic tax hikes on America’s job creators,” Chairman Rob Gleason said.

“President Obama’s shameful willingness to hamper the Super Committee’s ability to create a solid debt deal just go gain a few political points symbolizes everything that’s wrong about his administration. Everyone in America, except President Obama and Senator Bob Casey, know that our country has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Thankfully, Pennsylvanians know we have an Obama problem in the White House and a Casey problem in the Senate, and next year, we’ll have the ability to do something about it by voting him out of office.”

Obama Is Already Positioning Himself For The Committee’s Failure And Choosing Not Be Part Of The Solution

President Obama Has Not Reached Out To Congressional Leaders In Recent Days To Try And Find A Solution. “As the clock counts down to the deadline for the supercommittee to come to a deficit-reduction agreement, President Barack Obama hasn’t been in touch with congressional leaders in recent days, the White House said here Saturday.” (Jennifer Epstein, “Carney: No Recent Calls To Congress On Deficit Talks,” Politico, 11/19/11)

The Obama White House Spent The Weekend Preparing A Coordinated Response To The Super Committee’s Failure With Top Democrats. “Aides to President Barack Obama — largely out of the loop and out of the country for the past week — had been preparing a statement over the weekend in coordination with top Democrats, sources say, and he’s expected to pound Congress yet again.” (Manu Raju and Jake Sherman, “Parties Brace For ‘Super’ Fallout,” Politico, 11/21/11)

Obama Is Returning From A Nine-Day Trip Overseas But Has No Plans To Get Involved In The Super Committee Negotiations. “President Barack Obama returns Sunday from a nine-day trip to the Asian Pacific just in time to swoop in and save the deadlocked supercommittee from failure. But nobody in Washington expects an eleventh-hour intervention. Obama hit a low point in his presidency in August when his direct negotiations on a massive deficit-cutting package crumbled, and the country narrowly dodged a debt default. Four months later, as Washington braces for another possible budget breakdown, Obama isn’t likely to engage in any last-minute heroics.” (Carrie Budoff Brown, “Obama Unlikely To Rescue Supercommittee,” Politico, 11/18/11)

The President’s Absence Of Leadership Has Made The Super Committee’s Work Harder

Maya MacGuineas, President Of The Committee For A Responsible Federal Budget, Says The Ability To Reach A Compromise Stems From A Lack Of Leadership. “As much as Obama has tried to distance himself from the process, he already is receiving at least some blame. Maya MacGuineas, president of the centrist Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said her discussions ‘at every single meeting’ in recent months have always shifted to why a deal is so hard. It’s not a lack of policy ideas, she said, but of leadership — in Congress and even more so, from Obama.” (Carrie Budoff Brown, “Obama Unlikely To Rescue Supercommittee,” Politico, 11/18/11)

MacGuineas: “Only one person has the bully pulpit … I’m just struck by how any political leader — but most of all, the president — can look at a situation that so obviously, desperately needs a solution and not do everything in their power to get there.” (Carrie Budoff Brown, “Obama Unlikely To Rescue Supercommittee,” Politico, 11/18/11)

The Washington Post‘s Robert Samuelson: “There Is No Leadership From The Nation’s ‘Leader.’” “Only President Obama can start such a debate. He has the bully pulpit, but he hasn’t used it. Here’s an exchange between ABC White House correspondent Jake Tapper and the president, at a July 15 news conference, that captures Obama’s calculated obscurity. … Noncommittal gibberish. There is no leadership from the nation’s ‘leader.’” (Robert Samuelson, Op-Ed, “Why There’s A Debt Stalemate,” The Washington Post, 11/20/11)

The Washington Post‘s Robert Samuelson: “The Reason We Cannot Have A Large Budget Deal Is That Americans Haven’t Been Prepared For One. The President Hasn’t Educated Them …” “The president won’t talk specifics, but government consists of specifics. The reason we cannot have a large budget deal is that Americans haven’t been prepared for one. The president hasn’t educated them, and so they can’t support what they don’t understand. Left or right, there are no comfortable positions. No one relishes curbing Social Security or Medicare benefits. But without changes, taxes will go way up, the rest of government will shrink dramatically or huge deficits will persist.” (Robert Samuelson, Op-Ed, “Why There’s A Debt Stalemate,” The Washington Post, 11/20/11)