Sen. Rob Portman said Saturday that it was not the Republicans’ goal to shut down the federal government but to cut spending and improve the climate for job growth.
The Ohio Republican, in the GOP’s weekly address, also took on President Barack Obama’s proposed budget, saying that it avoided tough choices for the coming year.
But in his weekly address, Obama called for Republicans and Democrats to find “common ground” on the budget and said he was “willing to consider any serious ideas to help us reduce the deficit — no matter what party is proposing them.”
Portman called the president’s proposed budget a “leadership opportunity and a solemn responsibility.” He said that Obama’s budget proposal last year called for spending cuts that would do more than “kick the can down the road.”
Instead, Portman said, Obama “rejected the dire warnings and recommendations of his own fiscal commission and not only kicked the can down the road but made the road more perilous by advocating deeper debt and ignoring bipartisan calls for entitlement reform and pro-growth policies, including tax reform and regulatory restraint.”
Obama also called for Congress to avoid gridlock.
“Both Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate have said they believe it’s important to keep the government running while we work together on a plan to reduce our long-term deficit,” he said.
Late on Friday, House Republicans released a two-week continuing resolution that cuts more than $4 billion in federal spending, including $2.7 billion in earmarks.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.