State of the Union: Republicans say Obama not doing enough to reduce deficits

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WASHINGTON - The Republicans have rebutted US President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, during which a request was made for another round of federal spending.

Representative Paul Ryan, who delivered the GOP response, said that the need of the hour for the United States was for spending cuts.

The Republicans said that it would be business as usual with the Obama administration, and termed his call for renewed investment in American education, infrastructure and technology as simply a push for another round of federal spending with little or no commitment to reducing the deficit.

“Whether sold as ’stimulus’ or repackaged as ‘investment,’ their actions show they want a federal government that controls too much, taxes too much, and spends too much in order to do too much,” the Los Angeles Times quoted Ryan of Wisconsin, as saying.

“We believe the days of business-as-usual must come to an end. We hold to a couple of simple convictions: Endless borrowing is not a strategy; spending cuts have to come first,” he added.

Ryan’s address was part of an unusual two-pronged retort to the president’s speech.

Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota also delivered a response.

“For two years President Obama made promises just like the ones we heard him make tonight. Yet we still have high unemployment, devalued housing prices, and the cost of gasoline is skyrocketing,” Bachmann said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky welcomed Obama’s support for a five-year freeze on federal discretionary spending.

“I like the fact that he wants to do something about spending. However, freezing government spending for five years at the increased levels of the last two years is really not enough. We need to reduce domestic spending substantially. And I hope the president will work with us to achieve that,” McConnell said.

“It sounds to me like the president’s changed the tone and the rhetoric from the first two years,” he said.

“And, I think, that’s an appropriate adjustment in the wake of last year’s election, when the American people said basically they want to go in a different direction,” he said.

Ryan spoke from the hearing room of the House Budget Committee he chairs, which Republicans said was ground zero for the Democrats’ “spending spree” over the last two years.

The first confrontation between Obama and the GOP since the new Congress convened will come in a matter of weeks, when lawmakers must vote to raise the limit on the federal debt. (ANI)

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