Responding to the sequester cuts that are now coming into effect, the president is attempting to publicly reposition his administration above the party rancor in Congress. Justifying his position by pointing to the lack of progress he has seen from House Republicans in recent meetings, the president is committing to winning the House of Representatives in 2014 but stating that both sides need to come together and resolve the issues before them.
“The president understands that to get anything done, he needs a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives,” said Rep Steve Israel (D-N.Y.).
Will Obama’s new commitment result in decisive action for the Democratic Party? Not right now, according to house aides. According to Jay Carney, “It goes without saying that the president wants those in his party to do well, but it is not a focus of his, particularly at this point.”
This year $85.3 billion will be cut from the budget and that number will rise over the next 10 years to approximately $1.2 trillion if the sequester is allowed to continue. No one stands to gain from the sequester as most sources agree that the cuts do not address deficit issues in any meaningful way, and the cuts negatively impact those that need government aid the most.
But, for now, Obama says that both parties need to come together to address the issues at hand – engendering a new partisanship: the Executive against the Legislative. He’ll worry about getting things done next year.