Morning Bell: Showdown Over A Shutdown

Mike Brownfield /

It has been more than 40 days since the House passed a budget for 2011, cutting spending by $61 billion. The task was left undone by the previous Democrat-controlled Congress, the first time since 1974, an embarrassing feat for a body charged with holding the purse strings. Today that task remains incomplete, and the moment until a partial government shutdown is growing near, easily measured in hours, not days. It’s time for action and leadership, not press conferences and finger pointing.

But yesterday a press conference is exactly what we got. Following a joint meeting among President Barack Obama, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in which no agreement on the budget was reached, the president appeared before the media. His message? He shouldn’t have to shepherd this process through Congress; in other words, he shouldn’t have to lead: (more…)