The unveiling of President Barack Obama’s fiscal-year 2015 budget met predictable Republican resistance on Tuesday, with House Speaker John Boehner issuing perhaps the most stinging criticism.
“After years of fiscal and economic mismanagement, the president has offered perhaps his most irresponsible budget yet,” Boehner said in a statement. “This budget is a clear sign this president has given up on any efforts to address our serious fiscal challenges that are undermining the future of our kids and grandkids.”
Republicans had three familiar criticisms of the budget — it spends, borrows, and it taxes too much. To be sure, little if any of Obama’s budget has a chance of becoming law, especially after the bipartisan budget deal brokered in December. However, Obama’s budget and the House Republican plan that will follow in a few weeks will be important in framing both parties’ arguments ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.
Obama’s new budget was also notable because it did not include olive branches the president has extended to Republicans in the past, like the cuts to Social Security that liberals helped kill. Obama’s fiscal-year 2015 budget is being described by many observer as more of a wish list of proposals the White House wants to see.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said it wasn’t a “serious document.” Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican chair of the House Budget Committee, called Obama’s budget “yet another disappointment.”
“This budget isn’t a serious document; it’s a campaign brochure,” Ryan said in a statement. “In divided government, we need leadership and collaboration. And in this budget, we have neither.”
Ryan, however, could find himself in his own awkward situation in a few weeks, when House Republicans release their budget blueprint. Along with Sen. Patty Murray, the Democratic chair of the Senate Budget Committee, Ryan was one half of the duo that struck the budget deal in December. If the House committee models its new budget after their bipartisan deal, it could lose support from conservatives. However, it could find support vanishing from Democrats if it is drawn based on a conservative blueprint.
House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, a Republican from Kentucky, immediately declared Obama’s proposed budget dead on arrival. He said in a statement that the committee he chairs would adhere to the spending caps set in last year’s bipartisan budget deal.
“It is extremely disappointing that the President’s proposal today blatantly disregards the budget limits for fiscal year 2015 — spending roughly $US60 billion in additional funds — and ignores the hard-fought compromise he so recently endorsed,” Rogers said.
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