President Barack Obama gave a statement this afternoon on the budget situation, urging the House to act to keep the government open next week, but also pressing his hard line on the debt limit:
“Raising the debt ceiling is simply authorizing the Treasury to pay for what Congress has already authorized…
“Voting for the Treasury to pay America’s bills is not a concession to me. That — that — that — that’s not doing me a favor. That’s simply carrying out the solemn responsibilities that come with holding office up there.
“I don’t know how I can be more clear about this: Nobody gets to threaten the full faith and credit of the United States just to extract political concessions.”
Obama is leaving himself with very little wiggle room here. Correctly, in my view; there’s no reason for him to make concessions on this. He’s certainly making his position clear, though.
Oh, also: Obama spoke to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani today. That’s pretty big, although we still can’t know where it’s going, if anywhere.
The good stuff:
1. A lot of very good pushback today against the press coverage. I like one of Brian Beutler’s points about lazy reporting and analysis very much: there really is a difference between a party which just won an election trying to press its advantage compared with a party which lost threatening to blow everything up to get their agenda passed. It’s also, I would say, different from using the rules to play defense (as Republicans did in 2009 and 2010).
2. While James Fallows argues that the press must recognize how far Tea Partiers have strayed from prevailing government norms.
3. Don’t miss this one: GOP Senator Richard Burr blasting the Ted Cruz defund strategy again today after the Senate votes.
4. For more reporting from inside the House Republican conference, I once again recommend Robert Costa: Here he is on House Republicans conspiring with Ted Cruz to potentially undermine John Boehner.
5. Yes: Democrats realize that a delay to the Affordable Care Act at this point is simply a trap. Ben Terris explains.
6. Ezra Klein explains why Barack Obama isn’t negotiating with Speaker Boehner: “The Republicans aren’t asking for negotiations, at least not as the term is commonly defined.”
7. Want to know what a shutdown would actually do? The Post has you covered. Great resource.
8. Great point from Danny Vinik: Wall Street hasn’t freaked out yet about the debt limit; could it be because they know Republicans are obviously bluffing?
9. While I ask: where are the sane House Republicans?
10. Could a deal still be found on immigration? Benjy Sarlin has a good read on the behind-the-scenes state of play, which suggest comprehensive reform is still alive.
11. Two very good pieces by political scientists, both with the same main point: Everything right now in U.S. politics runs through political parties, and we can’t understand anything without thinking through the parties. First, Scott Lemieux on Elena Kagan emerging as a strong liberal voice on the Supreme Court.
12. Then David Karol explains why Barack Obama backed the ACA: he had no choice, at least not if he wanted to be a Democratic nominee for President of the United States: “The real story here is the durable preferences of key groups in the Democratic Party rather than the “conversion” of Barack Obama, the individual politician. To understand the maneuverings of candidates we need to appreciate the partisan context in which they operate.”
13. Video smackdown! Josh Barro takes apart Tea Party patron saint Rick Santelli.
14. A great weekend read: E.J. Graff on what’s next after the marriage battle is won.
15. And the tweet of the day, from Luke Russert, on the House GOP reaction to Obama’s Iran announcement today: