Political messages urge against government shutdown
February 26th, 2011
10:37 AM ET
11 years ago

Political messages urge against government shutdown

Washington (CNN) - While Congress works to prevent a government shutdown over a deal to continue funding the government, President Obama and Republican Sen. Rob Portman used their weekly web and radio addresses to advocate against gridlock.

Obama urged Democrats and Republicans to find common ground "so we can accelerate, not impede, economic growth."

"For the sake of our people and our economy, we cannot allow gridlock to prevail," Obama said in Saturday's message. "Neither party will get everything it wants. Both sides will have to compromise."

The newly elected senator from Ohio stressed "getting our debt and deficits under control," as the most important step Washington can take to create jobs and stimulate the economy.

"Our goal as Republicans is to make sensible reductions in this spending and create a better environment for job growth, not to shut down the government," Portman said in the weekly GOP address Saturday.

This comes after Senate Democrats tentatively embraced a plan Friday proposed by Republicans to immediately cut $4 billion in federal spending as part of the plan that would keep the government running until March 18. The current short-term spending plan, or continuing resolution, expires March 4.

But despite the bipartisan rhetoric, the weekly messages also looked ahead to the larger impending budget fight.

Portman said the president's 2012 budget proposal would double the national debt and lock in higher levels of spending.

"He rejected the dire warnings and recommendations of his own fiscal commission and not only kicked the can down the road but made the road more perilous by advocating deeper debt and ignoring bipartisan calls for entitlement reform and pro-growth policies, including tax reform and regulatory restraint," Portman said.

He proposed Congress enact new tax policies, real health care reform, regulatory reform and a new energy policy to "meet our economic and fiscal problems head-on."

But the president said his proposals, which include a freeze on annual domestic spending over the next five years and do not tackle entitlement reform, are "just a start."

"If we're serious about tackling our long-run fiscal challenges, we also need to cut excessive spending wherever we find it – in defense spending, spending in Medicare and Medicaid, and spending through tax breaks and loopholes," Obama said.

- CNN Congressional Producers Deirdre Walsh and Ted Barrett contributed to this report

soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Dean

    You can forget about stimulating the economy with the oil gouging that is going on. Obama it is time to drill our own oil. The economy will never recover with $100+ a barrel oil.

    February 26, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  2. Annie, Atlanta

    What I don't understand is why the Democrats always have to cave to the Republicans. Let's do some drastic cuts that could put us into a deeper Recession or the Republicans will shut down the Government and risk putting us in a deeper depression. Let's give extra bonus tax cuts to billionaires who don't have to worry about choosing between the prescriptions that keep them alive or food that will keep them alive, or we won't give the unemployed anything to keep them alive. This isn't negotiating. It's hostage taking. Over and over and over again. What I'd like to know is when we are going to wake up and see that Republicans have an agenda, and like my Dad always said, it was to make the rich richer.

    February 26, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  3. vic nashville tn

    When states heard the cuts they are scratching their heads

    February 26, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  4. sbast18

    Dems cave in to the Repubs? Really, Annie.... The "agenda" for both parties ought to be simply running the country – which neither is doing very effectively, currently. I see the Repubs trying to do better, at least. Last time I checked, the dems were still trying to give the farm away and the middle east was upside down due to our weak democratic administration and its complete inexperience and inability to work with ANYBODY. The other time I checked, Obama was whining about the constitutionality of the intended fix for wisconsin – but...oh...that was after he unconstitutionally rammed Obamacare down our throats. Get a grip.

    February 26, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  5. diridi

    good job...this means all 300 million citizens need to wear crown on top of of head...???? o.k, we wear from today onwords....it is all ploy and drama from GOP idiots...o.k...

    February 26, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  6. FM

    GOP should not play with fire, it gonna burn them completely! People are careful watching.

    February 26, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. fayse

    The freshman green peas of the Tea Party probably don't know or remember what a disastor it was for them when they shut down the Government while Bill Clinton was in office. This is one reason that Newt Gingrich will never be President.
    Hey America, not all of us agree with the Tea Party /a.k.a. the John Birch Society.

    February 26, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  8. terry, va

    How can the repubs be the party of the rich? I have never understood that given that 47% OF US PAY NO TAXES AND 1-2% of us pay 41% of the taxes. That is a hell of a lot of repubs isn't it? I can't believe all of the dumbocrap ignorant talking points. The truth is the dumbocraps want a welfare nation where the people are dependent on hand outs. This country was not founded on that principle and we are now awaking to the socialist policies of the dumbocraps. I say shut the government down, if that is what it takes, to keep us from going further in debt and continuing the welfare state path we are on.

    February 26, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  9. kat

    The Dems have had the last few years to get our budget in order and now they will lay the blame on the Republicans. That's about right! They need to accept the blame for sitting on their hands while they had total control of the budget asnd letting runaway spending get out of hand. Thank God they aren't in total control now. Maybe if we can get BHO out and get someone with a brain to run our country we can get out of the mess the Dems have got us in.

    February 26, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  10. valwayne

    Obama and the democrats want to keep the massive corrupt spending going. They don't care about the massive debt. If it causes a financial collapse they will just look at it as another crisis they can use to push their extreme left wing agenda. Obama and the democrats will not agree to any meaningful cuts that might save our economy. They want a government shut down so they can try and play the politics. The Republicans are going to have to decide if they are going to do the right thing for our economy and our nation, and trust that the American people will support them through it, or cave to Obama and watch Obama continue to race us to destruction!

    February 26, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  11. DAVE

    i think the democrats should try to shut the goverment down to help the working class! it would have the effect of a bank in termoil and lower the value of the stock which in this cass is the value of the dollar. a lower value dollar makes imports cost more at the same time lowers the cost of american made products. that will put people to work because of increased demand and also lower the balance of trade. the loosers in a shut down are the very wealthy who base their wealth on the dollar and would loose some of their worth. some may go broke over night! this is bad but than again it would only affect about 1% or 2% of the people. the plus is the goverment spends less money when it is not running! the other plus is it makes investment into american companies much cheaper for people from other countries. it may sound bad but maybe other investers around the world would not just sit on the money they invest like wealthy people in this country are doing.

    February 26, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  12. Clwyd

    Here is my political message! Shut it down!

    February 26, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  13. MAC

    If the government shutsdown it is as much, if not more the democrats fault but the "Liberal Bias Media" will spinthat it is all the republicans fault. Also it is obvious that the President and the democrats do not want ot cut spending but raise the deficit until they can raise taxes again. Maybe the half of America that do not pay income taxes needs to be taxed. Also, why should taxpayers from the private sector pay for the public sector to have better pay and benefits while they are suppose to work for us. Cut the Union Dues so that the Corrupt Unions and the Corrupt Politicians can no longer gouge taxpayers with their pay offs to the Unions with pay and benefit increases and special privilages. Taxed Enough Already!

    February 26, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  14. B

    This country has the lowest tax right now than in 50 years. The Republicans are never satisfied until there are no taxes for anything. They are destroying this country. Bush and Co. damned near did it and now they want to finish the job by killing off the rest of the Middle Class!

    Greedy and self serving ..

    February 26, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  15. elosha

    Everyone shouting to shut the government down, are any of you government employees? Probably not because if you were the thought of no income coming into my household to pay for food clothing and to pay my mortgage scares me. If this happens we do not know how long we will be off. Bills still need to be paid. We cannot take another job nor can we file for unemployment. And I am not one of those high paid government employees. So for those who want the government shut down, while you go to work everyday and collect your pay, those of us will struggle. Innocent people are paying the price for the stupid careless mistakes of others.

    February 26, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. ThinkAgain

    People are so stupid! The Republicans under Bush and Cheney had absolutely no problem with taking the Clinton surplus and turning it into a huge deficit, part of which was hidden by Bush and Cheney leaving the cost of TWO WARS off the books!

    All of a sudden, deficits matter and the Republicans – even though they fought for tax cuts for the wealthy that don't create jobs here at home and do add to the deficit, to the tune of $780 BILLION – are screaming for spending cuts.

    And what do you know? Everything they are targeting are progressive programs that help the most needy among us (particularly women and children: WIC, HeadStart, etc.), protect the environment (EPA), support the arts (NEA) and help ensure truly fair and balanced reporting (NPR and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting).

    This isn't about balancing the budget; this is about the Republicans imposing on us their ultra-conservative views and belief that business should be completely unregulated and not held accountable, regardless of the destruction that results.

    The Republicans worship money and a fundamentalist, backwards, anti-women, anti-minority "religion". In the name of "God" and "patriotism", they are trying to impose their will on the American people – in direct violation to the will that was loudly and clearly spoken in 2008.

    People, get out and protest this dismantling of our country by the rightwing relgious and monetary fundamentalists! They want nothing more than to turn our country into a third-world theocracy!

    February 26, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  17. Ernie

    Obama urged Democrats and Republicans to find common ground "so we can accelerate, not impede, economic growth."
    This tells it all, meaning that Obama doesn't want to get involved. He wants everyone eles to take the blame for "Shutting Down the Government". He wants everyone else to do his work, instead of bring Republicians and Democrates together and "hammer out" a deal he runs and hides. This doesn't show good leadership. It shows that he wants to take all the glory.
    If the Republicians were smart they would be running an ad on TV all over the country showing how the President and the demcorates are going to shut down the government. With this ad it will show how Obama and the democrates are creating "Grid Lock". As everyone can see nothing is getting done. Obama has on his desk "The Buck Doesn't Stop Here".

    February 26, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  18. MAC

    The President's Budget that the democrats say cuts spending adds over 7 trillion dollars in deficit over the next 10 years. They say they are cutting spending? NOT! More than 7 trillion dollars of the Presidents 10 year budget needs cut to start cutting the deficit. Hopefully the Congress both democrats and republicans can do this or our grandchildren will have one lousy future paying oour bills, but the older generations are "me generations" and probaly don't care (this is saying it nicely).

    February 26, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota

    "How can the repubs be the party of the rich? I have never understood that given that 47% OF US PAY NO TAXES AND 1-2% of us pay 41% of the taxes."

    Low income wages produce low income tax rates. Perhaps if GOPers weren't so willing to accept low wages as the new norm, state and federal Budgets would indeed be getting more revenue through increased wages. Prior to losing his job, my husband was a middle income earner, paying his fair share of taxes. Having lost his job, and accepting a lower paying job, we are now considered low income tax payers. Truthfully, we would rather have his middle income back, and gladly pay the increased taxes associated with that income. Bring into account unemployment and/or loss of past earnings for millions of Americans such as my husband and you should be able to see the dilemma: less wage - less income tax revenue collected. But do keep blaming the poor. You walk right into the trap the millionaires laid out in their insistence that THEY pay too much, all the while using every tax break on the books to pay LESS, if any, tax at all. Hence the federal, state, city, county, and local municipalities all suffer budget deficits.

    February 26, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  20. GonzoinHouston

    The democrats are offering to compromise, as in "we each get part of what we want" and the republicans are demanding, as in "give us all we want or else". So who's to blame if there's a shutdown? There WILL be a shutdown; the TP's won't be happy until they get one.

    February 26, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  21. one voice

    Just ANOTHER GOP ploy to stall and put a huge drag on the economy. The GOP has NO PLATFORM, NO CLUE how to run a SUCCESSFUL GOVERNMENT. If they shut the Government down, they just continue to stand on the sidelines and throw stones. Cut the GOP pay for DOING NOTHING, NOW!!!

    February 26, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  22. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I guarantee you if the bill to extended the Bush tax cut for the rich was still on the table the Republicans wouldn't consider shutting down Government, but it's not, so shutting down the Government won't affect the rich.

    February 26, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. 2012...hurry-up..and get here

    Come 2012 Obama and his team out the door.....!!!

    February 26, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. okpotum gifto

    I which to comence to the republicans to joins hands wit president OBAMA to maintain the econoomy growthh.

    February 26, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  25. Marcus

    MAC – Tone down, breath and go outside for a while, you've been living inside your shell for too long man...

    February 26, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
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