Do-nothing Democrat-controlled Senate. You won’t hear Obama berating them about being obstructionists.
On back-to-back votes Thursday, the Senate killed the last two legislative options standing between Congress and tens of billions in across-the-board spending cuts — now expected to take effect by midnight Friday.
President Barack Obama and top House and Senate leaders will meet Friday. But at this stage, the first round of $85.3 billion in reductions appears unstoppable.
In a single stroke, total discretionary appropriations will be rolled back to levels below 2008, the last year of George W. Bush’s presidency. Absent some compromise, the full long-term reduction over nine years will be nearly $1 trillion.
For both Congress and Obama, surrendering to the automatic cuts represents a watershed event and one that won’t end soon. Indeed Thursday’s votes usher in what could be months of turmoil, as the government adjusts like an aircraft carrier turning slowly in the ocean.
Fearful of the political backlash, the Senate Republican leadership mounted a last ditch attempt to cede broad authority to Obama to implement the first reductions over the next seven months. But splits in the GOP doomed any chance of success, and that bill failed 38 to 62 with as many as nine Republicans joining in the opposition.
Notice how Republicans get blamed despite the Democrats controlling the Senate? More Democrats voted NO than Republicans who tried to give Obama responsibility for the cuts he signed into law and threatened to veto any bill stopping these cuts. Shhh, low-information dolts don’t know the truth.