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Government spending, Obamacare become game of political ‘chicken’ (+video)

Republicans and Democrats are maneuvering for advantage on government spending, Obamacare, and a threatened government shutdown. Within the GOP, there's intramural squabbling.

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Another Republican governor – Brian Sandoval of Nevada – gave the GOP’s weekly radio address Saturday.

As governors often do, he said it’s “no accident” that Republican governors lead states with thriving economies.

“We reduce government, balance budgets, and keep taxes as low as possible,” he said. “Can you just imagine what our economy would look like today if Washington would just take that approach?"

More pointedly, he addressed the fractious situation back East.

“Like Washington, Nevada has a politically divided government, but that hasn’t stopped our efforts to grow Nevada’s economy,” he said. “Good executives, like all good leaders, must expect opposition when making decisions or when making or enforcing the law. But executives must engage those that disagree with them. They must listen to all ideas, persuade when possible, and respectfully and firmly disagree when necessary.”

Governor Sandoval did not address the controversial Affordable Health Care Act, and a senior official for Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D) of Nevada gleefully pointed out why.

Kristen Orthman, press secretary for Senator Reid, tweeted: “Do Rs realize that they've tapped a GOP Gov who is fully implementing Obamacare to deliver their weekly address??”

As the Hill magazine notes, Sandoval has worked to roll out two of Obamacare’s most important provisions: establishing Nevada’s health insurance exchange and expanding the state’s Medicaid program.

In his own radio address Saturday, Obama took aim at the GOP’s “far right.”

“Democrats and some reasonable Republicans are willing to raise the debt ceiling and pass a sensible budget – one that cuts spending on what we don’t need so we can invest in what we do. And I want to work with those Democrats and Republicans on a better bargain for the middle class,” he said. “But there’s also a faction on the far right of the Republican Party who’ve convinced their leadership to threaten a government shutdown if they can’t shut off the Affordable Care Act. Some are actually willing to plunge America into default if they can’t defund the Affordable Care Act.”

“Think about that. They’d actually plunge this country back into recession – all to deny the basic security of health care to millions of Americans,” Obama said. “Well, that’s not happening. And they know it’s not happening.”


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