House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) charged Sunday that Republicans need to stop talking about cutting taxes and "look to the future with a little more compassion and bipartisanship."
Clyburn and House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) were asked on CNN's "State of the Union" about the three-page letter President Barack Obama sent to congressional leaders Saturday, saying that the extension of tax cuts and spending programs was critically needed to keep the economy from sliding "backwards."
"The economic policies of this administration and Congress are failing to put people back to work," Pence said, citing 9.9 percent nationwide unemployment.
Clyburn said that "American people cannot afford to" discount talk of a second stimulus or economic rescue for 300,000 teachers at risk of losing their jobs due to state budget cuts.
"We all know exactly what this president inherited," he said. "We'll stop talking about that inheritance when Congressman Pence and others stop trying to take us back."
Clyburn charged that Republicans were approaching economic recovery with "a simplistic approach."
"Let's stop talk about cuttting taxes, cutting taxes, cutting taxes," he said.
Pence countered that Democrats sought to make the Wall Street bailout of the George W. Bush administration permanent in the financial service bill, adding that bad policies of both the last and the current administration needed to be ditched in favor of lower taxes and controlled spending.
"It's time for fiscal displicine in Washington, D.C.," Pence said.