OPIOID SERIES:

GOP senators: Obama's five-year freeze insufficient

In a briefing with reporters, Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPompeo lacks votes for positive vote on panel GOP poised to advance rules change to speed up Trump nominees Trump has not invited Democrats, media to state dinner: report MORE (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 ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneHouse, Senate GOP compete for cash Overnight Tech: Alleged robocall kingpin testifies before Congress | What lawmakers learned | Push for new robocall rules | Facebook changes privacy settings ahead of new data law | Time Warner CEO defends AT&T merger at trial Senators grill alleged robocall kingpin MORE (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 RyanPaul Davis RyanScalise released from hospital after planned surgery GOP sold Americans a bill of goods with tax reform law Impeaching Rosenstein? Some Republicans are talking about it MORE (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 ReidHarry Mason ReidGOP poised to advance rules change to speed up Trump nominees Dems walk tightrope on Pompeo nomination The Memo: Teens rankle the right with gun activism MORE (D-Nev.), the majority leader, took issue with on Tuesday.  

This year’s proposal, ABC News estimated, would save roughly $400 billion.