Insufficient, say the Dems. “Senate Democrats facing tough reelections say President Obama has not done enough to fix the botched rollout of his healthcare law and are vowing to repair it themselves. The Senate Democratic leadership is not on board with lawmaker plans to begin rewriting ObamaCare and have urged for more time to assess the changes made by Obama and his team, lawmakers say.”
Intensely worrisome. “The White House says that an Iranian ballistic missile test would not invalidate a recently signed nuclear accord meant to temporarily halt some of Iran’s most controversial nuclear work.” You see, the agreement does nothing to disable Iran’s ballistic missile program.
Incredible as it may seem, we may have a budget. “House Republicans leaders threw their weight behind the two-year budget deal on Wednesday, and planned to bring it to a vote Thursday, amid growing signs that bipartisan complaints about the bill weren’t deep or broad enough to threaten its passage.”
Incessant bad news for the White House. “Americans have grown skeptical of some of the personal attributes the president relied on to win re-election in 2012. The new [Associated Press-GfK] poll finds just 41 percent think he’s decisive, 44 percent see him as strong and 45 percent call him inspiring. On honesty, he’s lost ground since October. Now, 56 percent say the word ‘honest’ does not describe Obama well. Nearly half of American adults have an unfavorable impression of Obama, and 46 percent have a favorable impression.”
Inevitably, the right wing makes up its own facts to reject a budget deal. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) explains: “Despite what some are saying about ‘busting the caps,’ the agreement actually does nothing of the sort. The strict spending caps at the heart of the Budget Control Act – which are critical to holding government at bay in future years as the economy struggles to grow – are kept completely intact by the Murray-Ryan agreement. The agreement also preserves 70 percent of the sequester for the next two years (FY 2014-2015) and keeps 92 percent of the sequester intact over the next eight years through FY 2021. And the modest sequester relief over the next two years is more than offset by $85 billion in savings from mandatory spending programs, resulting in net deficit reduction of $23 billion.” [Underline in original.]
Inadequate but positive say defense hawks, “While the Ryan-Murray budget proposal will begin to address this crisis, it restores only some of the previously planned defense spending in fiscal years 2014 and 2015. It leaves untouched further defense cuts between fiscal years 2016 and 2021. After adopting the Ryan-Murray proposal, Congress should move forward to fully reverse defense sequestration and adopt defense budgets that meet our nation’s needs.”
Indeed, quite positive, says Max Boot. “The budget deal struck between Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray, assuming it’s passed by both chambers, hardly solves all of our budget woes. But it is a positive step forward especially for the U.S. Armed Forces, which have faced the prospect of devastating and illogical budget cuts dictated by the sequestration process. The Ryan-Murray deal does not turn off all the defense cuts, but it does pare them back.”