GOP senators: Obama's five-year freeze insufficient

In a briefing with reporters, Sen. Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellPelosi urges end to Pentagon's clawback of soldier overpayments Coffman’s stance on climate change disingenuous, irresponsible Bill Murray honored with Mark Twain Prize 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 ThuneWhat will be in Obama’s Presidential Library GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Republicans question FCC watchdog's 'independence' 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 RyanIntelligence director: Withholding classified briefings from Trump, Clinton ‘not an option’ Ladies, don’t give it up for Trump California National Guard official: Congress knew about bonus repayments 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 ReidGOP groups ride to rescue in 3 key Senate races Obama seeks down-ballot gains after being midterm loser Reid: 'I have set the Senate' for nuclear option MORE (D-Nev.), the majority leader, took issue with on Tuesday.  

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