WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Barack Obama is calling for a balanced approach to a “responsible” budget as members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House move forward following a 16 day partial federal government shutdown and near default.
On Thursday, the day after a compromise agreement to temporarily reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling was approved, President Obama said the U.S. would “bounce back” from the problems created during the standoff which, he said, caused “completely unnecessary damage” to the economy.
“There are no winners here,” the President said at the White House.
Every member of West Virginia’s Congressional delegation voted for the last-ditch compromise agreement. The vote in the Senate was 81-18, while the vote in the House was 285-144.
Former state Republican Party Chairman Mike Stuart said he was “not happy” with the short term resolution for many reasons.
“We’ve kicked the can down the road. We haven’t solved any issue here and it’s unfortunate,” said Stuart. “What (President) Obama got here was exactly what he wanted. What Republicans had asked for here, at least a negotiation on some of these very serious issues, we got none of it.”
The compromise agreement reopens the government through Jan. 15, raises the debt ceiling until Feb. 7 and, in doing so, allows a House-Senate bipartisan group of lawmakers to develop a long term budget plan to avert shutdowns over the next ten years, along with possible defaults.
The co-chairs of that group will be Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). A report to Congress is due by Dec. 13.
When it comes to those budget talks, former state Democratic Party Chairman George Carenbauer said a large scale view should be taken. “Let’s take a look at everything,” he said. “Let’s take a look at the whole picture, our entitlement programs, our other programs, the revenue sources that we have. Don’t keep anything off the table.”
The legislative stalemate started with budgetary disagreements about the Affordable Care Act.
Second District Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito said the issues with the health care reform law still need to be addressed.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that there are major, systemic problems with Obamacare,” she said. However, she said shifting the focus to spending and a budget committee makes sense. “Obamacare will move into that discussion as well,” she said.
Capito is a candidate for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.
In a statement, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, a candidate for the Democratic nomination, said the following: “I opposed this government shutdown from the very beginning because it was bad for West Virginia,” she said. “Congresswoman Capito voted five times between Sept. 20 and Oct. 1 to shut down the government, putting Washington politics ahead of West Virginia’s people.”
Capito was asked about Tennant’s statement on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline.” “Politics is for another day. I’m really about trying to solve problems here and I’m going to stick with that because that’s my job,” she said.
Carenbauer and Stuart were also guests on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”