Screwed up priorities

Meeting with Republican Congressional leaders for the first time since his party’s mid-term drubbing by the GOP, President Obama lays down the law:

“Today we had the beginning of a new dialogue that I hope — and I’m sure most Americans hope — will help break through the noise and produce real gains,” the president said after a two-hour session that included Democratic Congressional leaders as well. “And as we all agreed, that should begin today because there’s some things we need to get done in the weeks before Congress leaves town for the holidays.”

Apparently, one of the “things” that Obama and the Democrats have in mind include opening the floodgates for illegal aliens rather than you know, voting on a federal budget, which is something the Constitution requires the US Congress to do, and which still hadn’t been completed before the Dems left town before the election.  And oh yeah, how about making a decision on the extending the Bush tax cuts, so that families and small businesses know what to expect in 2011?

Luckily, the Republicans in Congress are at least acting like they’re serious about our fiscal problems:

Senate Republicans are vowing to block all legislative business until Democrats hold votes on bills to extend the Bush-era tax cuts and keep the government funded through the new year.

In a letter signed by all 42 Republicans, Republicans warn they will filibuster any attempt to bring forward any bill besides those two measures. That could further complicate Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s desire to complete a laundry list of other bills in the final weeks of the 111th Congress.

Citing the nation’s high unemployment rate and the desire to “focus on creating an environment for private-sector job growth” Republicans are telling Reid “that we will not agree to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to any legislative item until the Senate has acted to fund the government and we have prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers.

“With little time left in this Congressional session, legislative scheduling should be focused on these critical priorities,” the letter said. “While there are other items that might ultimately be worthy of the Senate’s attention, we cannot agree to prioritize any matters above the critical issues of funding the government and preventing a job-killing tax hike.”

The move was discussed by GOP leaders in a Monday evening meeting, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urged his colleagues to sign the letter at a Tuesday lunch. If Republicans all agree to this maneuver, it’ll prevent the Senate from reaching the 60 votes needed to kill a GOP filibuster and advance legislation.

Unfortunately for Republicans, they will be the ones who will be forced to make difficult decisions when it comes to fiscal policy, as President Obama and the Democrats are content in kicking the can down the road.

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