Obama also reiterated that he expects the Supreme Court to uphold the health care law, saying that it has not overturned a major economic law affecting commerce since before the New Deal. And he said there are two ways to cover people with pre-existing conditions — either with a single-payer system like Medicare or with an individual mandate.
Republican leaders blasted Obama in turn.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Obama has “recommitted himself to policies that have made our country’s debt crisis worse.” Boehner said Ryan’s budget “makes the tough choices the president refuses to make to address the staggering deficits and debt that are slowing our economic recovery, costing jobs and threatening to destroy the American dream.”
Boehner added, “House Republicans, led by Chairman Ryan, passed a responsible budget that would help put Americans back to work, protect our seniors, close President Obama’s massive budget deficits, and do ‘all of the above’ to address high gas prices. ... Republicans are committed to the budget we’ve put forward and committed to solving the serious economic and fiscal challenges our country faces. It’s time for the president to join us.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also blasted Obama’s renewed call for the “Buffett Rule,” which would ensure millionaires are paying at least as high a tax rate as the middle class is.
“This is yet another proposal from the White House that won’t create a single job or lower the price at the pump by a penny but may have the opposite effect,” McConnell said in a statement. “Just as with the president’s proposal to raise taxes on American energy manufacturers and increase the cost of energy, this is yet another sign that the White House is out of ideas and is simply focused on tax hike show-votes rather than pushing for the dozens of jobs and energy bills that have passed the House but are stalled in the Democrat-led Senate.”
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.