President Obama is negotiating with the ayatollahs in Iran. He negotiated with Putin over Syria after its dictator used poison gas on his own people. But yet he refuses to negotiate with Republicans in Congress on the budget.
Recently Secretary of State John Kerry said: "It would be diplomatic malfeasance to not negotiate with Iran." I believe it is economic malfeasance for the president to not negotiate with Congress. Both sides need to give a little to find a compromise that works for the American people.
This president has racked up unprecedented debt. If Republicans don't use every opportunity to cut spending and pass reforms, this president will overspend us into insolvency.
I imagine President Obama is feeling a bit nostalgic for those first two years in office when he had Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House and could get anything he wanted. He still wants everything his way with no negotiation and no compromise. During those two years of one-party rule, discretionary spending increased by an incredbile 40 percent! So Republicans must stand firm and apply the brakes on out-of-control spending. And when it comes to out-of-control spending, nothing compares to ObamaCare.
But we also must find a solution to this shutdown. In order to reopen the government and avoid default, were I back in Congress I would vote for a so-called "clean bill" if the president would compromise on one important point: that ObamaCare must treat everyone equally. President Obama has unilaterally granted exemptions from ObamaCare to many organizations that were key political supporters of his during his campaigns. In doing so, he has polluted ObamaCare with political favoritism and paybacks.
Even worse, the administration exempted Congress from ObamaCare. All of these special exemptions need to be rescinded. If this law is so great, everyone should be treated equally under it, no exemptions. What's good for the people should be good for Congress. It's only fair.
If the Senate and president would agree to this simple request to take away these special exemptions and make ObamaCare fair for everyone, then I would support an effort to pass a bill to fund our government and move forward.
We've had enough of exemptions for special interests. That is the Chicago way of governing and we can't let it continue to infect our federal government.
As a former congressman, I know that both sides need to compromise, and I think the solution I laid out is the most appropriate way to proceed.
Bobby Schilling was congressman for the 17th CD from 2011 to 2013, and is now running to be elected in 2014. This op-ed was first published in the Peoria Journal-Star.