The Washington Times - October 1, 2013, 10:29AM

Rep. James E. Clyburn, South Carolina Democrat, said that the budget fights on the Hill are about undercutting President Obama and his presidency, not his landmark health care law.

“This is about the president, not his program per se,” Mr. Clyburn, a member of the House Democratic leadership, said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Jansing & Co.”

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Mr. Clyburn, a former House majority whip, also pointed out that major parts of Obamacare went into effect Tuesday even though the government shut down at midnight, saying that the debate on the implementation of Mr. Obama’s health care law and the fight over the budget are unrelated.

“That’s got nothing to do with the budget — that’s paid for,” he said.

On Monday night, Mr. Clyburn said he was “in disbelief” that House leaders would call for a conference at what he said was the very last minute, when discussions on a more long-term budget could have happened months ago. Now that the government has been shut down, the mood among House Democrats is “very somber,” Mr. Clyburn said.