March 17th, 2009
10:49 AM ET
9 years ago

Obama seeks nonpartisan input on 2010 budget

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama urged both Democratic and Republican members of Congress Tuesday to provide him with "constructive alternative solutions" if they disagree with any sections of his 2010 budget proposal.

Late last month, Obama unveiled a $3.55 trillion budget that he said would halve the federal deficit by the end of his first term.

Obama made his comments at a news conference in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building after meeting with Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, and House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt Jr., D-South Carolina.

Obama made his comments at a news conference in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building after meeting with Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, and House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt Jr., D-South Carolina.

"There's been a lot of discussion about this budget already, and I hope we engage in a healthy debate going forward," Obama said. "The challenges we face are not partisan. We're going to get some numbers with respect to the budget that may make this even tougher in the next couple of weeks."

Given the magnitude of the nation's problems, "we don't need more point scoring, we need more problem solving. So if there are members in Congress who object to specific policies and proposals in this budget, then I ask them to be ready and willing to propose constructive alternative solutions," Obama added.

"This budget doesn't attempt to solve every problem or address every issue," he said.

The 2010 fiscal year begins October 1. Although the banking crisis has been a major focus of the administration, Obama said there are other issues just as pressing, such as the high cost of health care and the need for non-oil energy sources.

Obama made no mention of the controversial $165 million in bonuses that American International Group Inc. (AIG) paid top executives and some other employees, following a $173 billion taxpayer bailout. The move has infuriated the White House and Congress, which are trying to find way to recoup the bonus

Filed under: President Obama • Uncategorized
soundoff (129 Responses)
  1. John

    Remember, Republicans and Democrats, we're looking for *CONSTRUCTIVE* ideas.

    March 17, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  2. Pat F

    "Obama seeks non-partisan input on 2010 budget".

    Outside the beltway interpretation: Obama seeks fig-leaf to cover his responsibility as he buries the country in trillions in debt and destroys any part of the economy that Fanny and Freddie/Barney and Dodd have left standing.

    March 17, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  3. Had It

    Are we going to get any input? Or just more NO NO NO NO NO ?

    March 17, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  4. Kevin in Ohio

    Lip service. Does anyone really believe this guy will listen to opposing views? He has not been willing to so far.

    March 17, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  5. Al, NY NY

    GOP're up. What's the word other than the usual "tax cuts" tripe that you parade out every time?

    March 17, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. spring

    Let AIG fail, give us back our 80%, we'll spend it on homes, cars, food for our familes, health insurance for our medical needs, we'll get our ECONOMY rolling again, JUST GIVE US A CHANCE, WE ARE AMERICA.

    March 17, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. katiec

    President Obama, please realize the republicans are not going to unify to save our country. They ignore their decline in popularity and continue on with their politics as usual. To do what is right is beyond their comprehension, as, like the last eight years, they know what is best?
    They do not give the American people any credit for intelligence, failing to realize we see through their hypocrisy.

    March 17, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  8. screw them

    repubs are the 'we are the opposite of the democrats' party

    if they cannot work harder for the American people than to just be the opposites, no new ideas, no investment of thinking capital or creativity than move on with out them

    March 17, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  9. lb

    Obama cannot expect to build bipartisnship with the DNC placing billboards and tv ads in place against republicans. The dems are in control of the government and their brazen, outspoken behavior is damaging us all. I do hope everyone has input especially in light of the cuts he wants in place to our national defense at a time when we are highly vulnerable.

    March 17, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  10. Joe C

    Perhaps Obama has learned that his definition of post-partisanship hasn't worked. Inviting Republicans to dinner netted him next to nothing, and allowed the Republicans to take the high road (hypocrisy notwithstanding) on the deficit hawk argument. And by delegating to Pelosi and Reid, two frustrated partisans, he wasted good political capital. And Reid STILL had to compromise to get the three Republican votes.

    Partisanship is truly working together. If Obama doesn't get that by now, we are truly in a sorry state.

    I hope Obama's supporters are more pragmatic, and less dogmatic. Otherwise, he will be ineffective, lose the support of lawmakers, and the confidence of the people.

    Good luck to Obama, I say.


    March 17, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. Uncle Sam

    President Obama continues to reach out to everyone – let's hope the repugs can come up with constructive ideas and not just more unconstructive and unhelpful screeching noises.

    March 17, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. obama-mama

    Good luck......

    March 17, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  13. Sniffit

    Nothing could make the GOPers feel more threatened than daring them to constructively propose alternative solutions: they have none, other than wishing for more tax cuts to hamstring the tax revenue with which a Dem POTUS will be able to pursue his agenda. Soooo...rev up the Republican spin machine in an attempt to turn this request into something partisan in and of itself, so they can pretend they don't have to respond and are somehow offended by it...and queue the silly quips like "here's a suggestion, stop spending, duh duh, Rush told me to say that."

    March 17, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  14. Ray Fisher

    A bare-bones budget addressing only the needs of our nation is the need leaving politics aside. The stimulus and budget debacles thus far leave doubt that this Congress can acheive anything along this level of unselfishness. We shall see yet I have no warm fuzzies!!!

    March 17, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. Ouch!

    To: Kevin in Ohio
    Perhaps that's because he hasn't had too much from GOP but the same kind of blather that you spill on these blogs all the time.

    March 17, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  16. Ian

    If you spent $1 million every day from the time Jesus was born, that would still be less money than the latest "stimulus" bill.

    Bush steered the train towards the cliff and Obama is now going full throttle. Can't wait for price controls and food lines because that's what is coming.

    March 17, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  17. Diane

    Bi-partisanship does not mean that each one of us tries to beat down everyone that disagrees with us. That is what we seem to be doing here and yet, we think the other side should be different and that our leaders should lead to bi-partisanship, but we will not follow. Quit bashing everyone else and starting reaching out to the folks around yet. That's the way to bi-partisanship and cooperation in this country.

    March 17, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  18. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    The president is doing what is right. He wants concensus from both parties to stop all of the bickering. They(The GOP) can't say he's not reaching out to them.

    March 17, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  19. KLS

    Good luck President Obama. The nation needs to have constructive alternative solutions not the continued ideology fighting - My party is better than your party - that has been going on for way too long. The real question will be if Boehner and especially Rush will let the GOP do this. Of course, Pelosi needs to keep her mouth shut too.

    March 17, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  20. Luis

    Kevin in Ohio have some faith...the guy is YOUR PRESIDENT, and he wants to do the right thing for this country. Go to work, volunteer in your community and entrust this man.....he at least deserve the opportunity......God knows we gave plenty opportunity to the previous president, and he chose not to act. At least "this guy" YOUR President is working to do something.

    March 17, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  21. Ponce de Leon

    Don't waste your time, you can't find what ain't there!!

    March 17, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  22. Sniffit

    @ Pat F, who said "....any part of the economy that Fanny and Freddie/Barney and Dodd have left standing."

    Only the already-convinced GOP "base" crowd believes that crap at this point. Fanny/Freddie played their role to be sure, because creating nutty mortgages was not the proper answer to legislation that demanded more people get mortgages. The real core of the problem, however, started when the securities industry sought to take advantage of those subprime mortgages by bundling them to create completely retarded securities that they then overvalued and and on which they slapped a improperly deflated risk rating. This spurred home value inflation via people pushing those mortgages to further inflate the securities' values and obtain commissions and incentivized defrauding home-buyers into thinking they should be eligible. The inevitable (and foreseeable) failure of those securities is why we're in this mess, not because of the subprime mortgages themselves...but because Wall Street saw those mortgages as an opportunity to play Russian Roullette with the nation's economic stability.

    March 17, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  23. Typical White Person

    Here's my input...

    Cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. Instead, use half the money to fund art education programs and the other half to reduce the deficit.

    Cut funding for farm subsidies for all corporate farms and limit individual subsidies to only those farmers netting less than $200,000 per year. Instead, use half the money to subsidized lunches for low-income students and the other half to reduce the deficit.

    Cut all funding & tax exemption status for any group that engages in any political action including voter registration drives or electioneering and candidate endorsement or vilification. Use half the money to fund social studies programs in public schools and the other half to reduce the deficit.

    Remove all income tax from tax law and replace it with sales taxes. Sales taxes can be adjusted so that EVERYONE contributes and those that have more money to spend pay more: 5% on foreign and processed foods (0% on fresh food grown in the US); 10% on clothing under $100 for a single article; 10% on cars that are fuel efficient; 50% on luxury items and non-fuel efficient cars.

    Use the savings from the reduction of the IRS budget to reduce the deficit.

    Now, that's a start. What have you liberals got besides sarcasm?

    March 17, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  24. Biased

    It seems obvious that if Obama was really serious in his attempts to get both parties to offer legitimate suggestions, then he would have met with both party leaders on the budget committee not just the democratic chairmen, but the republican counterpart as well. Actions speak louder than words, and the tone coming out of the White House about the opposing party seems to show contempt and disdain for anything and everything that is said. If the White House wants to show that kind of tone, especially the phony outrage with Rush and now Gibbs calling Cheney part of a "cabal", then any words about being bipartisan and wanting to change the tone of Washington are seen as useless but especially hypocritical.

    March 17, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  25. pointofview

    Obama=I want a bipartisan budger, just remember "we won" nananabooboob

    March 17, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
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