Republicans give Obama budget scathing reviews

Republicans on Monday gave scathing reviews of President Obama’s nearly $4 trillion fiscal 2016 budget request, signaling much of it will never see the light of day in Congress.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was among many who criticized Obama for not offering a balanced budget, and contrasted the president’s proposal with GOP priorities.

“It may be Groundhog Day, but the American people can’t afford a repeat of the same old top-down policies of the past,” Boehner said.

“While the president budget’s is about the past, our budget will be about the future. We will address our government’s spending problem and protect our national security. Our budget will balance, and it will help promote job creation and higher wages, not more government bureaucracy.”  

{mosads}The budget asks Congress to bust spending ceilings in the next fiscal year by raising discretionary spending by $74 billion. If the blueprint were enacted by Congress, the White House said the deficit would fall to $474 billion, 2.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of fiscal 2016, and that the debt, as a share of the economy, would decline over the next 10 years.

In Obama’s State of the Union address last month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) recalled the president promised to introduce a budget that would contain “practical, not partisan” ideas.

“Unfortunately, what we saw this morning was another top-down, backward-looking document that caters to powerful political bosses on the left and never balances — ever,” he said.

While administration officials cast the plan as a way to benefit the middle class by raising taxes on the wealthy and large financial institutions, GOP lawmakers said the proposals aren’t a solution to helping that same demographic.

The request “serves as a punch to the gut of hard-working taxpayers who are still struggling from stagnant wages and higher costs caused by this failed, Washington-knows-best agenda,” said Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the House majority whip.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) blasted the spending increases, arguing that the president was asking for billions “without any realistic way of paying for it.”

Still, the budget serves as a guide for the appropriations panels when determining how much money to allot agencies each year. Roger said his committee would be examining Obama’s requests closely.

“As always, despite the President’s huge wish-list of additional spending, the Appropriations Committee will take a very close look at the President’s request, conduct vigorous oversight over federal agencies, and go line-by-line to make decisions that are justified and that use each and every tax dollar wisely and appropriately.”

The proposal on Monday is the seventh budget Obama has sent to Capitol Hill since 2009 and the first he’s sent to a GOP-controlled Congress. Republicans’ initial opposition to the 2016 budget could foreshadow more partisan fights over spending over the next two years. 

Tags Boehner John Boehner Mitch McConnell
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