House Republicans hammered the Obama administration’s fiscal 2012 budget proposal Monday, dismissing the proposed spending cuts as too little while criticizing the president for not proposing changes to entitlement programs.
Although President Barack Obama’s budget has no real chance of passing, it is nevertheless a key starting point for the larger debate over spending and deficit reduction. By early afternoon it was clear that House Republicans had settled on a handful of themes for criticizing Obama’s blueprint. For instance, virtually every Republican accused him of a “failure of leadership,” arguing he was continuing the policies of the past and failing to propose adequate spending cuts.
“President Obama says he wants to win the future, but the future will not be won by repeating the mistakes of the past and failing to live up to our responsibilities in the present,” Majority Leader Eric Cantor said.
“Today, the president missed a unique opportunity to provide real leadership by offering a budget that fails to address the grave fiscal situation facing our country,” the Virginia Republican added.
Likewise, Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.) argued, “Failing to heed the warnings of economists and the demands of the American people, the president’s budget accelerates our country down the path to bankruptcy.”
Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (Ohio) argued that “the president failed a crucial test of leadership by ignoring the need for reforms that will preserve Medicare and Social Security for future generations. These safety-net programs are in serious trouble without significant reforms, yet this budget has nothing to say about the problem.”
Republicans were also reprising their campaign attack line that Democrats “spend too much, tax too much and borrow too much.”
“President Obama’s budget spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much. While American families struggle to live within their means during these challenging times, the president’s proposed budget makes it clear he still doesn’t understand the negative impact government overspending has on the ability to create jobs,” Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) said.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.