Obey Obey

June 16th, 2010at 07:22am Posted by Eli

This is great framing by Obey:

Talks were under way Tuesday to extricate the administration by coming up with offsets to pay for new education assistance to avert teacher layoffs this fall. At the same time, renewed efforts began to salvage a $24 billion package of state Medicaid assistance, even if it means paring back a proposed 18-month fix of Medicare reimbursements for physicians.

The backdrop in both cases is a Saturday night letter from Obama calling for action on education and Medicaid assistance but giving no direction on how to pay for them — or how to win support in a deficit-conscious Congress. Leaked in advance to the Sunday newspapers, the letter caught party leaders by surprise, and with Obama largely absent from both fights to date, it was widely seen by Democrats as more political showmanship at their expense by the administration.

Clearly annoyed, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called White House congressional liaison Phil Schiliro to her office Monday, and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey served notice that he would withhold action on Obama’s new war funding until the dust clears on domestic spending issues.

(…)

Obey has been central to the fight over education aid and, in an interview, drew a direct link between war funding and progress on domestic priorities.

He said he would withhold action on the war funds until there was some resolution on a major economic relief bill extending jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed and popular tax breaks for individuals and businesses.

I love this because holding war funding hostage is a not-so-subtle reminder that the supposed fiscal conservatism that the Republicans and conservadems use as an excuse to block any kind of stimulus or relief is a complete sham that magically evaporates wherever military spending is concerned.  Barney Frank has been doing much the same thing with the deficit commission, agitating and gadflying to remind them that Social Security isn’t the only government entity that spends a whole bunch of money.

Plus Social Security does a lot more good, and is, in fact, already paid for.

Entry Filed under: Afghanistan,Democrats,Economy,Obama,Politics


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