Boehner faults Obama for missing deadline to present budget

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Monday said President Obama's failure to present a balanced budget to Congress today — or any budget at all — means the U.S. economy will continue to suffer from failed presidential leadership.

"President Obama missed a great opportunity today to help our economy," Boehner said on the House floor. "This was supposed to be the day that the president submitted his budget to the Congress. But it's not coming, it's going to be late, and some reports are saying it could be as long as a month late.

"I think that's too bad. Our economy could use some presidential leadership right now."

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Boehner reiterated his argument that excessive government spending is slowly drowning the U.S. economy in debt and chasing job creation into other countries. He said that growing debt is linked to last week's report that said the economy shrank in the last quarter of 2012, and that job creation is still not enough to soak up the millions of people looking for work.

"If government spending does cause growth, as the president believes, then we shouldn't be having these problems," he said. "And then maybe it wouldn't be so disappointing that his budget is late. Well, we are having trouble in large part because spending is the problem."

Boehner said an on-time budget from Obama could have dealt with automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, something both parties are looking to avoid. He said Republicans have twice passed a sequester replacement bill, but that the Democratic Senate has not acted on it.

"To replace the president's sequester we need our Democrat colleagues to get serious about spending," he said. "I wish I could give the American people more cause for optimism. But we see the president's budget is late, and the Senate hasn't passed a budget in nearly four years."

Boehner said Congress should replace the sequester with reforms that help balance the budget within 10 years. He also said the House this week would pass a bill requiring Obama to estimate when the budget will be balanced again, and recommendations for getting there.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) responded by downplaying the GOP bill, called the Require a PLAN Act.

"Republicans need to stop governing by soundbite," she said. "The bill they will bring to the floor this week does nothing to address the urgent needs of the American people nor does it avert any of the upcoming GOP manufactured crises or the sequester, which will destroy jobs, harm our recovery and hurt the middle class."

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