By Russell Berman - 04/13/11 03:20 PM EDT
House Republican leaders said Wednesday they have “high hopes and low expectations” for President Obama’s afternoon speech on the debt.
Top Republicans have characterized the president as late-in-coming to the debate over solving the nation’s debt crisis, and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he had been pushing Obama for months to engage on the issue.
“This is vintage Obama,” Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told reporters before heading to the White House for a preview of the address that will be delivered at George Washington University. “He’s been standing on the sidelines expecting the rest of us to make the tough decisions and to lead this country.”
Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) mocked Obama for scheduling what he called “a sequel” to the White House’s initial budget proposal earlier this year. “None of them are better than the original,” McCarthy said.
Boehner and Cantor reiterated warnings to Obama that they would not agree to tax increases, including a rise in rates for those earning more than $250,000 a year.
The House is scheduled to hold a series of votes on Friday on competing budget proposals from GOP and Democratic leaders along with conservative and liberal factions of the chamber.