Tags: pew | poll | boehner | obama

Americans Follow Their Leaders and Hang Tough

Tuesday, 08 Oct 2013 10:30 AM

By Elliot Jager

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President Obama wants the House to vote on a "clean" spending bill that would reopen the government. Speaker John Boehner insists there aren't enough votes in the House to pass such a measure. To which Obama says let's have the vote and see who's right.

The rest of the country is no less petulant. A fresh national survey by the Pew Research Center paints a polarized citizenry. A total of 44 percent of Americans want the Republicans to give ground, but nearly as many — 42 percent — say it is the president who should make the first move by agreeing to changes in his signature healthcare law.

Obama said that the reason Boehner hasn't called a vote is "because he doesn't apparently want to see the government shutdown end" unless "he's able to extract concessions that don't have anything to do with the budget," according to The New York Times.

The two leaders are speaking past one another. "We're not going to pass a clean debt limit increase," Boehner told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday. 

"My goal here is not to have the United States default on their debt. My goal here is to have a serious conversation about those things that are driving the deficit and driving the debt up. And the president's refusal to sit down and have a conversation about this is putting our nation at risk of default."

The Speaker has no plans to schedule that vote, and Congressional Republicans are holding firm, The Hill reported.
Even if a bipartisan majority does exist, as some media reports speculate, for now it is unlikely centrist Republicans will defect to join with Democrats in forcing a vote on a clean continuing resolution, The Hill said.

Across America, in principle, there is broad support for compromise. In practice, partisanship is entrenched. Pew found that — even if it were the only way to resolve the shutdown — a majority of Democrats do not want Obama to delay the Affordable Care Act. Similarly, a majority of Republicans oppose any deal that does not target Obamacare.

Forty-seven percent say it is "absolutely essential that the federal debt limit be raised to avoid an economic crisis" looming as early as Oct. 17, while 39 percent believe "the country can go past the deadline for raising the debt limit without major economic problems," Pew found.

Related Stories:

Boehner: No 'Clean' Bill Unless Obama, Democrats Make Cuts

Rand Paul: Democrats' Stubbornness Keeping Government Closed

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