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President Obama’s shutdown

Barack Obama press conferenceWith Congress unable to agree to a continuing resolution this week, the federal government officially shut down on Tuesday. As with every artificial political crisis in recent years, the shutdown has led to a media focus on which side should be blamed.

One thing that has been ignored in this discussion is that President Obama has publicly declared he is refusing to negotiate on these issues. Despite Democrats only representing a minority in the House, President Obama has essentially decided he would hold the government hostage until he gets everything he wants. Despite this reality, Democrats and their allies are trying to portray the Republicans as unreasonable.

White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer even compared Republicans to terrorists with bomb vests. We can be confident that President Obama clearly does not agree with this designation, because this administration willingly negotiates with terrorists. It has made efforts to deal with Syria, Iran, and the Taliban — but it is simply refusing to look for common ground with Republicans.

The truth is that Republicans have been more than reasonable. The House GOP proposed countless solutions to break the impasse. The last continuing resolution proposal from House Republicans added only two requirements to the funding of the federal government: one, a one-year delay in Obamacare’s individual mandate, and two, the removal of insurance subsidies for Congressional staffers and members.

These requests are hardly unreasonable. The first request follows President Obama‘s legally questionable move to unilaterally delay the employer mandate for a year. President Obama has yet to address why ending preferential treatment for those in Congress or requesting that individuals receive the same break he gave employers are such outrageous demands.

Those who point out that President Obama won in last November’s elections are correct, but they ignore the fact that House Republicans also won in that election. The House plays a key role in determining how government is funded, and it should not ignore that role simply because the President declares an issue settled.

House Republicans are standing up for the American people. They are promoting the views they were elected with, while also looking for a reasonable compromise. That is not terrorism; it is their job. It is about time President Obama and the Senate Democrats started doing theirs.


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