He is dead.
Yesterday American Navy SEALs shot Usama Bin Laden twice in the head at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. He was buried at sea, and America celebrated. It happened under President Obama’s watchful eye, but will the victorious president be able to continue his winning streak when it comes to matters at home?
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It will not be easy. President Obama faces tremendous opposition when it comes to handling America’s debt. Republicans and Democrats are still miles apart on the issues of cutting spending and raising taxes, but the president may be in luck. As the country inches closer to is $14.3 trillion limit, many say the death of the terrorist mastermind could provide the president with some leverage when it comes to raising the debt ceiling. Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), however, disagrees.
“Killing Usama Bin Laden does create good will around Congress and in Washington and all around America,” said Lummis on Varney & Co. Tuesday. “I do not believe that translates to a change in policy in regards to the debt ceiling.”
While Lummis agrees the prestige of killing Bin Laden has put the president in position of power, she says he is not there alone.
“I believe John Boehner’s hand is equally strong because he has not only the support of the conference, but also the American people,” said Lummis, “The American people don’t want the debt ceiling increased without assurances that we are cutting up the government credit card.”
Republicans have taken a strong stance in the debt debate, threatening to let the nation default on its obligations if there are not drastic cuts in spending. According to Lummis, that is a stance even the killing of the world’s most wanted terrorist cannot change.
“The House Republicans are not going to accept anything less than dramatic indications that we are going to put our U.S. Treasuries in a place that people will buy them in the future,” said Lummis.
Fortunately for both parties, they now have more time. Yesterday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner extended the debt ceiling deadline, saying that with “extraordinary measures,” the U.S. can keep borrowing until August 2nd. But until then, Lummis says, “it is imperative we meet our debt obligations.”