Kyl’s Anniversary Gift to Obama: A Harsh Critique

Posted July 20, 2009 at 3:43pm

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) celebrated President Barack Obama’s six-month anniversary in office Monday by attacking the administration’s domestic and foreign policies.In a floor speech delivered Monday afternoon, Kyl argued that despite early bipartisan overtures, Obama has since charted a partisan course. “In the earliest days, he reached out in a bipartisan way to secure passage of administration priorities … [b]ut the administration has become increasingly partisan in the months since then,— Kyl said. “The effectiveness of the president’s policies is increasingly questioned by the American people as spending and deficits have skyrocketed, unemployment has gotten much worse since he took office, and America’s interests abroad have been challenged with little response.—Kyl repeatedly critiqued the costs of a number of the administration’s domestic policies, particularly the push to overhaul the health care system.“President Obama is proposing a trillion-dollar health care program that would, according to the Congressional Budget Office, cause millions of Americans to lose their current care by providing an incentive to employers to drop their health care coverage,— said Kyl, the No. 2 Senate Republican.“Does anyone really believe that creating a new trillion-dollar, Washington-run health care bureaucracy will reduce costs? When in history has a new government program ever reduced deficits?— he asked.Similarly, Kyl savaged a proposal to put in place a cap-and-trade program for carbon emissions, arguing it would increase energy bills while putting jobs in danger “at a time when the economy is shaky and unemployment has reached a 25-year high. I am disappointed that the president is promoting this legislation that not only would violate his campaign promise, but would cost taxpayers billions of dollars and harm jobs.— On the international front, Kyl took the administration to task for its policies related to the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, foreign trade and the threat of North Korea, while calling the White House’s handling of the Iranian elections last month “regrettable.—“The president likes to say words matter.’ Very true. But his initial statement referring to deep concerns about the election’ failed to condemn the Iranian theocracy and lacked moral fortitude,— Kyl said. “And even as pressure rose on the president to take a stronger stand, he declined to provide the leadership that the world expects from America, the standard-bearer for freedom and democracy.—