Obama slams Republicans for 'unprecedented' obstruction of his judicial nominees, and Sen. Harry Reid vows no compromise on a student loan deal, as Democrats take a page from the Republican playbook.
President Obama and congressional Democrats are picking fights on student loans and on judicial nominations with their erstwhile GOP tormentors, leaving Washington in the upside-down position of Republicans calling for bipartisan negotiation and Democrats driving the hard lines.
Such hardball tactics may hurt Mr. Obama’s already shaky relationship with congressional Republicans, particularly those compromise-minded lawmakers in the Senate, that will be key to passing his agenda on immigration and resolving the nation’s long-standing fiscal impasse.
“I preferred it when he sat for dinner with Republicans and said, ‘How can we fix the debt?’ I prefer it when he sits down with eight [senators], Republicans and Democrats, and says, 'How can we fix our immigration system?’ ” says Sen. Lamar Alexander (R) of Tennessee, a senator who has dined with the president to discuss fiscal reforms. “I don’t like it when they invent crises as a way of bullying senators. And it won’t be productive for him and it won’t be productive for the country.”
Obama stood by a trio of nominees for the D.C. Circuit Court in a photo op in the Rose Garden Tuesday and excoriated Republicans for “unprecedented” blockage of his judicial appointments.
“For the good of the American people,” Obama said. “It has to stop.”
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