Sylvia Burwell

White House Budget Director Refuses to Answer Whether Obama’s Proposal Ignores the Law

 Sylvia Burwell

President Barack Obama appears to have ignored the Democrats’ decision to pass on pushing through a budget and decided to make a move on his own.

Obama’s recently unveiled $3.9 trillion budget would raise more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years and increase spending $56 billion above statutory caps in the next year alone, which means that the President did not consider the spending caps both the White House and Congress agreed to last year before he decided to unveil his plan.

During a Budget Committee hearing yesterday, Sylvia Burwell, Obama’s White House Budget Director, seemed to struggle to answer Sen. Jeff Sessions’ (R-AL) question regarding the president’s budget proposal. While Obama’s plan would increase spending, Burnwell refused to answer Sessions when asked whether the budget would allow more spending than what had been already agreed to previously when the President signed the Ryan-Murray budget.

According to the Budget Director, “there are some questions that are not simply Yes or No questions.” Her justification and defense of the new budget proposal ignores the budget already signed by the president. When asked if she wanted Congress to change the Ryan-Murray budget so that the increased spending proposed by Obama would then become a possibility, Burnwell also struggled to respond.

Today in Liberty: Obama’s lackluster response to VA scandal, House to vote on a severely weakened USA Freedom Act

“The government was set to protect man from criminals — and the Constitution was written to protect man from the government.” — Ayn Rand

— VA scandal isn’t going away: President Barack Obama finally spoke about the problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs, but didn’t do much other than continue to express outrage on the reports of the fraudulent wait times and mismanagement at VA hospitals. He’s standing behind VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, at least for now, as Democrats join Republicans calling for his dismissal. Unlike the IRS scandal and Benghazi, the problems at the VA and the deaths of 40 veterans aren’t something that the White House can blame on partisanship and try to sweep under the rug. The outrage is bipartisan, and only growing louder. And perhaps the most concerning thing about the sordid mess is that President Obama and the White House treats it as though it’s an unproven allegation.

Kathleen Sebelius resigns after tumultuous Obamacare rollout

The New York Times reports that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius resigned her post this week, though she apparently wasn’t forced, and the White House will announce her replacement tomorrow morning:

Mr. Obama accepted Ms. Sebelius’s resignation this week, and on Friday morning he will nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, to replace her, officials said.
[…]
Officials said Ms. Sebelius, 65, made the decision to resign and was not forced out. But the frustration at the White House over her performance had become increasingly clear, as administration aides worried that the crippling problems at HealthCare.gov, the website set up to enroll Americans in insurance exchanges, would result in lasting damage to the president’s legacy.

Even last week, as Mr. Obama triumphantly announced that enrollments in the exchanges had exceeded seven million, she did not appear next to him for the news conference in the Rose Garden.

The president is hoping that Ms. Burwell, 48, a Harvard- and Oxford-educated West Virginia native with a background in economic policy, will bring an intense focus and management acumen to the department. The budget office, which she has overseen since April of last year, is deeply involved in developing and carrying out health care policy.

Sebelius’ resignation comes less than two weeks after the first Obamacare enrollment period ended. Republicans pushed the White House to hold the HHS secretary for the utter failures of the initial launch of the federal Obamacare exchange, Healthcare.gov.


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