Recalibrating their strategy after a bruising election and an inauguration that underscored President Obama’s renewed popularity, political savvy and place in history, Republicans are now training their fire on Senate Democrats instead of the man in the Oval Office.
Republican House members have come to terms with the fact that though they control the lower chamber, Democrats run the rest of Washington. In light of that, they are putting more pressure on the Senate to pass a budget — a basic task of governing that has not been achieved for four years. And GOP groups are seeking to split Democrats into factions by spotlighting various objections to Obama’s policies from those within his own party, rather than assailing him directly.
Republicans hope ultimately to water down the president’s agenda. And so on Wednesday House Speaker John Boehner brought to the floor a bill to suspend the debt ceiling until May — and require the Senate to pass a budget. It passed, 285-144.
“With the passage of this bill today, it’s pretty clear that we’re sending a message to the Democrat-controlled Senate that it’s time to do your job,” Boehner after the approval, which was aided by House Democrats. “We’re committed to doing a budget on the House side — a budget that will balance over the next 10 years. It’s time for the Senate and the president to show the American people how they’re willing to balance the budget over the next 10 years.”