McCarthy: Republicans Have Heard Americans Loud and Clear’
House Chief Deputy Minority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Saturday touted his party’s “Pledge to America” as a governing agenda that would create jobs and restore the nation’s trust in Congress. But President Barack Obama blasted the GOP pledge as nothing more than the same policies that caused the economic recession in the first place.
Obama, in his weekly address, said the Congressional Republicans’ plan unveiled this week is nothing new. It would “cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires; cut the rules for Wall Street and the special interests; and cut the middle class loose to fend for itself. That’s not a prescription for a better future. It’s an echo of a disastrous decade we can’t afford to relive,” he said.
Obama noted that economists this week declared the recession over, but he said not everyone can tell that it has ended.
“If you’re one of the millions of Americans who lost your home, your job, or your savings as a consequence of the recession, this news is of little comfort or value,” the president said. “Yes, the economy is growing instead of shrinking, as it was in 2008 and the beginning of 2009. We’re gaining private sector jobs each month instead of losing 800,000, as we did the month I took office.”
But more needs to be done, he said. His priorities, he added, will help repair the damage the recession has caused.
“That’s why I’ve proposed a series of additional steps: accelerated tax breaks for businesses who buy equipment now; a permanent research and development tax break to promote innovation by American companies; and a new initiative to rebuild America’s roads, rails, and runways that will put folks to work and make our country more competitive,” Obama said.
But in the Republicans’ weekly address, McCarthy argued that the president’s agenda isn’t working.
“As a result of the economically disastrous policies of the current administration, millions of Americans are out of work today, and our children will be saddled with a deficit and debt that is — by every definition — out of control,” the Congressman said. “From the billion-dollar bailouts to the stimulus’ package that failed to stimulate to the government takeover of health care, you cried STOP!’ but the Democratic Majority in Washington has refused to listen.”
McCarthy said his party is listening, and its response is contained in the Pledge to America.
“We heard you loud and clear. … When you said you wanted a more accountable government, we heard you,” he said. “When you said you didn’t want a government takeover of health care, we heard you. … The new agenda embodies Americans’ rejection of the notion that we can simply tax, borrow and spend our way to prosperity.”
In his own address, Obama said the Republicans in Washington, D.C., claimed to draw ideas for their pledge from the America Speaking Out website. But the president said that the party is actually out of touch with those who spoke out.
“It turns out that one of the ideas that’s drawn the most interest on their website is ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas,” Obama said. “Funny thing is, when we recently closed one of the most egregious loopholes for companies creating jobs overseas, Republicans in Congress were almost unanimously opposed.”
Obama added that House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) “attacked us for it, and stood up for outsourcing.”
“So, America may be speaking out, but Republicans in Congress sure aren’t listening,” Obama said. “They want to put special interests back in the driver’s seat in Washington.”