With President Barack Obama’s Gallup approval rating down to just 45% after his mishandling of the Syrian crisis, and with CNN reporting that only 39% of Americans support Obamacare, White House officialstell Politico that “Obama doesn’t see any reason to back off his hard-line position” on the looming debt ceiling showdown–a risky strategy that could drag Democrats down with him come the 2014 midterm elections.
On October 17, the federal government will officially hit the nation’s $16.7 trillion debt ceiling. While polls show that more voters blame Republicans for the current government shutdown, polls also show that voters overwhelmingly side with Republicans in demanding that any raising of the debt ceiling be coupled with spending cuts. Indeed, a Bloomberg poll found that 61% of voters believe it is “right to require spending cuts when the debt ceiling is raised even if it risks default.”
On Wednesday, Speaker John Boehner published an op-ed recounting House Republicans’ numerous attempts to avert a government shutdown and stating Obama’s refusal to negotiate on a deal to cut spending in exchange for agreeing to raise the debt limit.
“In just a few weeks, Congress must act to raise the debt limit to pay the tab for President Obama and Washington’s out-of-control spending,” wrote Boehner. “There is no way Congress can or should pass such a bill without spending cuts and reforms to deal with the debt and deficit and help get our economy moving again. But President Obama refuses to even talk about negotiating such a bipartisan agreement.”
For months now, Obama and top Democrats have flatly refused to negotiate on the debt ceiling.