Rep. Hensarling fires back at Obama in the rumble over deficits

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), who got President Barack Obama a bit miffed during the question-and-answer session after his address to the House GOP retreat Friday, fired back Saturday evening after the conclusion of the Baltimore conference.

Hensarling, in criticizing government spending, told Obama that the yearly deficits Democrats complained about under George W. Bush had now become "monthly" deficits in lengthy remarks that clearly frustrated the president. (Watch the video here)

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"Jim, I know there's a question in there somewhere, because you're making a whole bunch of assertions, half of which I disagree with, and I'm having to sit here listening to them. At some point I know you're going to let me answer," said Obama, who called the congressman "Jim" three times even after being initially corrected by Jeb.

"With all due respect, I've got take this last question as an example of how it's very hard to have the kind of bipartisan work that we're going to do. The whole question was structured as a talking point for running a campaign," Obama continued, before calling Hensarling's assertions about deficits "factually just not true."

In anticipation of Obama rolling out his budget proposal Monday, Hensarling's Saturday statement cited Congressional Budget Office statistics putting the average deficit during 12 years of GOP House control at $104 billion and the average deficit under three years of Democratic control at $1.1 trillion.


“The President challenged the facts I presented to him about House Republican budget priorities and Democrat budget priorities," Hensarling said. "I am happy to provide him with the following facts to back-up my statements. I stand by what I said."

Citing the CBO's January monthly budget review, the statement said that the deficit run up in the first three months of FY 2010 -- $390 billion -- was just $22.7 billion short of the worst annual deficit under the GOP.

“I have great respect for President Obama, and I appreciate his willingness to come to our retreat, but he didn't answer my specific question on whether he would continue us on a path to tripling the national debt and increasing government spending to 24.5% of the economy," Hensarling concluded. "On Monday, February 1, when the President’s budget is expected to be released, we will have our answer.”