President Barack Obama is largely to blame for the stalled agenda on Capitol Hill, says veteran political strategist Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity.
"President Obama has trouble remembering that there are actually three branches of government. For a constitutional lawyer, which is what he was, I find that difficult to understand, but he does. He keeps thinking that he gets to vote, dictate to Congress, and run over the courts, and he does it over and over," he told Newsmax TV's John Bachman on "America's Forum" on Monday.
"Thankfully, Congress, and in this case, House Republicans, are standing up and saying no to the EPA regulations that he wants to jam through, and they're saying no to this global warming legislation he wants and no to the spending he wants and no to Obamacare, and it makes him angry. But he clearly is the one who deserves the blame."
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Phillips, who was named one of Politico's top 25 public policy players in 2012, praised the Supreme Court for taking on the challenge to the EPA's program
aimed at limiting power plant and factory emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases.
"Having the EPA, an unelected regulatory commission, basically dictating policy on carbon emissions to businesses, bypassing Congress, it really is important. I'm glad the Supreme Court's taking it up, I'm certainly hopeful that they're going to bring balance back to the executive branch and to the Congress," he said.
But that does not take the spotlight off the president's healthcare reform law, Phillips explained, saying, " Obamacare is the most important issue, and certainly at Americans for Prosperity, that's what we're focused on. But there are other issues that are important, and you can still fight other issues while keeping the laser beam focused in the lion's share of our time, energy and money on Obamacare and holding accountable these senators and House members who brought up this disastrous law."
As for the ongoing budget deficit battle in Congress, Phillips said of Democrats:
"They want all of this new spending on pet ideological social welfare programs, and yet the entitlements, that they also were the key in setting up, they want to keep expanding them, which locks in spending year to year for the foreseeable future and, eventually, crowds out their ability to have more pet project spending.
"Now, I'll tell you, at the federal level, what they're really counting on is that they'll be able to deficit-spend at a level that's at $800 billion to $1.5 trillion or more every year because they truly believe, the most ideological of them, they truly believe that deficits and debt don't really matter. Or, they don't care enough to balance it with the spending they want to do right now.
"And our job is to continue as much as we can – it's the hardest thing that our movement has to do, and that is to continue fighting the spending battle. That is something we've always struggled with," Phillips said.
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