House GOP to Dems: Where is Obama's FY 2012 budget plan?

Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) also discounted Obama's Wednesday speech as a political act, and said the speech fell far short of being a detailed alternative that can be discussed today.

"His speech was introduced by his campaign manager, not by his director of Office of Management and Budget, not by the secretary of the Treasury," Mulvaney said. "It was a political speech. I'm extraordinarily frustrated by that."

House Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) acknowledged on the floor that Obama's Wednesday speech was a broad outline of a budget plan that would not be considered today. However, Democrats will offer four substitute amendments, each of which would foresee more government spending over the next 10 years than the GOP plan.

Members of the Republican Study Committee will also introduce a bill that cuts spending more than the main GOP plan, which was offered by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

House Republicans just before noon took up the rule for H.Con.Res. 34, the Republican resolution setting budget guidelines for FY 2012 and the next decade. Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who managed the debate on the Republican side, also criticized Obama's broad outline, in particular his call for another commission to examine the growing U.S. debt.

"We don't need more unelected bureaucrats in Washington, sir, enlarging the scope of government," Scott said. "That's not real leadership."

Scott also rejected Democratic assertions that the GOP budget resolution would gut Medicare. "Our plan strengthens and protects Social Security and Medicare for the next generation of Americans, and it also reduces job-killing government spending by $6.2 trillion in the next 10 years," he said.

Most Democrats argued that the GOP plan would gut Medicare by offering what they called "vouchers" to seniors who aren't grandfathered into Medicare to help pay for health coverage. Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) said these vouchers would not increase payments to seniors as healthcare costs rise, and rejected GOP plans to avoid new taxes on the wealthy.

"Analysis by respected experts, such as Pulitzer Prize winner and former New York Times tax expert David Cay Johnston, has shown that tax cuts do nothing to spur the economy and create jobs," she said. "They simply pad the wallets of the wealthiest among us in times of a national need."

"What this budget does is say to seniors, you may no longer stay in the Medicare program today," added Van Hollen. "You have to go into the private insurance market."