By Bernie Becker - 01/25/11 09:44 PM EST
In a briefing with reporters, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other members of the Republican leadership said the president’s reported plan, which he is expected to announce during his Tuesday address, would freeze into place what they called the excess spending of the last two years.
“That's probably not going to inspire a lot of people who are serious about — who want to see meaningful efforts to reduce — to reduce spending and reduce the debt,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.).
For his part, McConnell complimented the House’s direction on the deficit. That chamber approved a measure on Tuesday instructing Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), the House Budget Committee chairman, to cap spending at 2008 levels.
The House’s effort, McConnell said, “would be the direction to go if we really wanted to have an impact on our annual deficit problem.”
ABC News has reported that, a year after calling for a three-year freeze in non-security discretionary spending, the president plans to up that proposal to five years on Tuesday night. Obama is also expected to call for a ban on earmarks, a plan that Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the majority leader, took issue with on Tuesday.
This year’s proposal, ABC News estimated, would save roughly $400 billion.