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How to Avoid an Ultimatum

In his July 5 remarks on the “Status of Efforts to Find a Balanced Approach to Deficit Reduction,” President Obama expressed the hope that everybody would “leave their ultimatums at the door.” Today, he announced the following ultimatum:

I will not sign a 30-day or a 60-day or a 90-day extension.  That is just not an acceptable approach.

Actually, it is the only approach that would allow the American people to weigh-in on this process. Let the President and the Speaker of the House put forth their respective offers, together with legislative language and a plain English summary. Let  the public read, review, and debate them over the next 30, 60 or 90 days. Hold hearings on C-SPAN. Then decide.

Do not do what was done with ObamaCare: hold secret meetings at the White House, emerge with a “compromise” and rush it through Congress, citing a “deadline” and assuring the public (and Members of Congress) they can find out later what is in it. Last year, my modest procedural proposal for ObamaCare was rejected by the Democrats in Congress, many of whom are now private citizens as a result. Let’s give them, along with the rest of the public, a chance to participate in the current debate.



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