South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune said Friday that President Barack Obama is “not very engaged” during fiscal cliff negotiations with Congressional leaders, and this is a sign that Obama does not care much about reaching a deal because he wants to take the country over the cliff and let taxes increase for everyone for political purposes.
“I don’t think there’s a lot of incentive on the president’s part to be at the table to make a deal, which is why he’s not very engaged in this discussion,” Thune told Fox News.
Thune said one would think after winning a big election, Obama “would want to lead,” but “he hasn’t put anything forward.”
In fact, Obama’s first offer to avert the fiscal cliff included $1.6 trillion in new taxes, a new round of stimulus spending, and unilateral and unprecedented powers for the president to raise the debt ceiling.
Thune noted that Congress has “some leverage with the debt ceiling increase” to get spending cuts, and that is why Obama wants to take Congress’s authorization to raise the debt ceiling away.
“Now what we’re told is that the president is thinking about what he’d be able to do about raising the debt ceiling without going through Congress,” Thune said.