Obama and Reid's Fiscal Cliff Flip-Flop

The day after President Barack Obama’s reelection, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that efforts to avert America from going over the fiscal cliff would not be tied to raising the debt ceiling.  “I think that the debt ceiling will come after the first of the year,” Mr. Reid said at the time. 

Last week, Mr. Reid reversed himself on his earlier position.  “I agree with the president, it has to be a package deal.”

Mr. Reid is, in many ways, following Mr. Obama’s lead.   In 2011, Mr. Obama said that “everything is on the table” when it comes to keeping America from going over the fiscal cliff, including entitlements. 

But now, as The Hill reported last Tuesday, “the White House and Reid have indicated they will not consider cuts to Social Security, a notable change from 2011.”

Mr. Obama and Mr. Reid’s reversals in positions appear to be part of a united Democratic effort to force Republicans to combine a debt ceiling raise with fiscal cliff negotiations—all while barring reforms to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security from discussion. 

“I think all of the entitlements need to be discussed, because they all, to one degree or another, are on an unsustainable path,” said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Tuesday.  “We want to save these programs, and I understand the dilemma the president the majority leader have.  Their hard left doesn’t want to change anything, ever.”

Twenty-nine days remain before America goes over the fiscal cliff. 


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