Democrats are so unwilling to accept substantial cuts in government spending that President Barack Obama and his congressional allies will engineer a government shutdown, says Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.
When it comes to the budget, “It’s really up to Obama and the Democrats,” he told Newsmax.TV during an interview in Washington, D.C. Republicans have taken two approaches, Norquist notes.
First, they’ve passed a bill in the House that would reduce domestic discretionary spending to 2008 levels. That’s $100 billion in annual savings. The bill is sitting in the Senate, which has refused to enact it, and President Obama has shown no interest in signing it.
“So Republicans have said, if you don’t want to bite the entire apple at one time, let’s do a continuing resolution for two weeks, and we drop $4 billion and then three weeks more for $6 billion,” Norquist said.
“So for every two weeks that we extend the continuing resolution, we save $4 billion — not for one time but for every year into the future.”
Republicans are willing to take more small bites out of the apple, Norquist says. “It’s all up to Obama and the Democrats.”
When people ask Norquist what the Republican plan is, he answers: “The Republican strategy is to say we want to cut spending back to the 2008 level.
“We can either do it one piece of legislation, or 12 or 20. But at some point, President Obama is likely to close down the government by not signing a continuing resolution and claiming somehow that it’s someone else’s fault.”
That will be the strategy of Obama and fellow Democrats when they don’t want to cut spending any more, Norquist said.
As for the debt ceiling, Norquist supports a bill from Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., that forbids more borrowing above the ceiling. “The first thing you do is pay interest on your debt, so it doesn’t cause an international crisis of confidence in the American government from foreigners who lend us money,” Norquist said.
“And then we have to figure out how to reduce spending in other places.” So Toomey’s amendment would allow Congress to avoid raising the debt ceiling.
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