Labor Steamed at Debt Deal, But Do They Blame Obama?


A source in the labor movement said despite the anger it won't affect how endorsements are handled whether it be on the local level up to the president, but said the entire community is "going to watch the super committee very closely, that's where a lot of our concerns lie" worrying that the "process will open the door later on to entitlement cuts."

The president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees or AFSCME, a member of the AFL-CIO, Gerald W. McEntee called the debt deal "forced upon the White House and the nation represents a form of economic malpractice."

"At the least, it will slow economic recovery and impose more joblessness, wage cuts and hardship on America's working families. The tea party held the nation hostage in order to advance an extreme ideology—at the expense of what is good for the nation and our economy," McEntee said in the statement.

AFSCME did not persuade members of congress to vote against the bill, but the union's legislative director, Charles Loveless told ABC News they believe the president was "backed into a corner" and they don't blame him, but he blasted tea party Republicans.

"There was a very real risk of the government defaulting on their debt obligation and they (Obama and congressional Democrats) were between a rock and a hard place. Democrats were trying to be responsible dealing with the crisis. On the other hand tea party legislators were willing to throw away the economy to satisfy their ideological goals," Loveless said. "I've heard disappointment from a number of people and that Obama could have been stronger, but at the end of the day he had very little room to maneuver I think."

Loveless added that the lack of tax increases is also a problem and "that revenues are ultimately part of any global solution to our deficit crisis."

Loveless stressed that they are hoping that tax increases can still be achieved during the joint congressional committee or super committee.

A lobbyist for the American Federation of Government Employees also went after Congressional Republicans saying they "feel betrayed" by GOP House members who "decided to take the American people hostage to get their way in a budget agreement."

The labor lobbyist added that it won't change the way they endorse lawmakers or even Obama saying the legislation "ended up being a hostage choice" and the president and congressional Democrats had a "gun to their head" while negotiating the plan.

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