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.
"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
Odd that a story about non-partisanship would inspire such outrage among the republicans on this site. I guess it shows that they really do follow the "hope he fails" republican mantra about our President and really do want our great country to spiral into a full blown Depression. Very sad, very sad – and quite unpatriotic, I must say...
March 17th, 2009 11:24 am ET
Nice of you to do this Mr. president, but we already know what the Republican response will be, it's NO, some rich people tax cuts, and let main street like their base figure it out themselves!!! Other than Boehner, Cantor, & Mitchell being all over the airwaves complaining I wouldn't expect any constructive participation from theUSS Republican ship of fools. If they work to get the country back on it's feet what would they have to complain about? You may have better luck going directly to Rush.
Obviously someone doesn't read the news or pay attention in any depth. I guess with Wall Street in collapse, only the illiterate are left in NYC.
can't imagine anything will come of this
I have not seen any creativity, strategic thinking or really anything that shows effort from the repubs
just a lot of circling the wagons and 'no'
nice to try, but expectations are deserve-dly low
March 17th, 2009 11:21 am ET
I don't think they're going to get anything bipartisan from the Republican party. The party has this insane irrational hatred and anger towards Obama thats making them impossible to work with. They aren't interested in doing whats good for all, only in whats good for their own pockets.
I'll give Obama all the love that the democrats gave president Bush.......NONE WHATSOEVER. He can get plenty of it from Chris Mathews tingly feelings.
Can't stand the GOP. I was a Moderate Republican, but now ashamed that I even was registered as a Republican. I'm proud that
Obama is my president and yes I disagree with some of his policies, but he is my President.
It's time the Gop support him and stop thinking about themselves and what is going to happen to them in 2010 and 2012. GROW UP!!
Amazing how republicans never support democratic leaders in times of crisis. Democratics supported Pres. Bush, evening when they disagreed with him on many issues. He was give an opportunity to lead and he just about destoryed our country and the world.
Now it is their turn, you don't have to give the president everything he wants, but something to help our economy recover would help.
This is the opportunity the republicans really need to rebuild their party. Obama is president now, but republicans will continue to be blame for the problems that exist if they keep sitting on the fense doing nothing.
Obama is full of it just like his campaign
Typical White Person,
You hit the nail on the head with the sales tax. A flat sales tax rate is what this country needs to balance the budget. How? Simple. At the present time 60% of people in the U.S. pay an income tax. That means that 4 in 10 are riding ont he coattails of others. They enjoy all the beneftis without giving up their money. If you increase the taxes on rich people they hide the money, you can't tax people that are here illegally so you ALWAYS have a deficit that others need to make up. But a flat sales tax means that no person can avoid the tax. And, it can be structured. For example: The flat tax for all purchases under $2000 is 17.5%, $2001-$10,000 is 13.5%, $10,001-$30,000 is 11.5% and anthing over $30,001 is 9%. No person can avoid the tax and you are still better off than you are with the present system. I am in Texas and pay 8% in sales tax AND I PAY my federal tax rate (which with exemptions is ~15%). You can split the salex tax into a ratio for both federal and state and then the other 40% of people in this country HAVE TO PAY TAXES.
The problem with that is that the government officials can't take bribes and kickbacks to get special tax breaks for all this major corporations. So we probably would never see this actually happen.
Obama was very critical of Clinton, saying that she could not get bi-partisan support. He made fun of her implying it was her fault.
Now that Obama is looking at the same situation – lack of bi-partisan support, polarized opposition. whose fault is that.
Oh, right: Somebody else.
@ who cares "Boehner, Cantor, Jindal, etc cast him as the devil incarnate"
That is the down side of running on a messiah platform – when things turn, you are cast as the devil.
freeze the budget at 07 levels cut out all the waste and fraud that is in the budget. then give tax cuts to business and individuals who create jobs real jobs.. also start drilling for our own oil and natural gas build nuclear power plants as candidate obama said funny how that once elected these promises have gone by the wayside. we cannot create jobs without business reduce corporate tax to 10 percent or less get govt out of business create a fair tax code that doesnt change each year reward hard work long hours personel investment by reduced taxes...grow up govt is the problem has always been the problem remember the 2nd amendment was not put in the constitution to protect us deer hunters but to protect us from a overbearing govt like we are experiencing now. join the tea parties**************
As to the budget, I have only one comment – this will never receive my support until they remove the options that force the military (active duty, retirees, and their dependents) to PAY for a portion of their health care. After all the years the recruiters have told young men and women that one of the benefits of serving your country for twenty years or until disabled and unable to do so would be that you would have free health care for the rest of your life, now they want to take that away. They're not offering to 'grandfather' retirees already receiving benefits. Not even the ones who supplement their Medicare with their Tricare. They are just going to make the change and expect military members to pay up. It's applicable to all and there are no exceptions – they're even going to make vets with service-related disabilities pay a portion of their care! It's in the budget – options 95 through 98. It's a disgrace. How members of the House and Senate can vote themselves raises and retirement plans BETTER than those provided for the military and they only have to serve one two-year term and then have the cajones to vote to restrict benefits for military members who served a full twenty years or more is beyond me. It's shameful.
Only after the stimulus flop he seeks input. That stimulus flop just extended the recession or even triggered a depression.
@ Kevin in Ohio March 17th, 2009 11:18 am ET
You draw your faith from your God, not your government. The rest of us feel that we've been waist deep, in a way of life that is, quite simply, not good. We fear the imposition of your morals, persecution by the religious right and lack of any security to our borders. I'm proud of America now that…. Obama (and Congress) are primarily democrats.
It's not easy for Obama to get bi-partisan support with Pelosi as the queen.
I'd give up on seeking Republican input and support. The Party of NO! has zero interest in allowing our country to move forward. They only want Obama and America to fail because they think it will help them electorally.
Otherwise, they have no ideas, no vision, no values and no hope. They were thrown out for a reason.
@John March 17th, 2009 11:21 am ET
Does that include churches? If so, if we can finally start taxing those ridiculous megachurches and stop funding "Faith Based Initiatives", then I'm behind it all the way.
Yep, and it includes Rev. Wright and ACORN, too.
The Final Four of the buget (Pres, Sen, House, and INT) don't fight, WORK TOGETHER!
Sure now Obama wants the Republican's input. When they tried to say they wouldn't vote for the pork-laden bill, stimulus & bail-out package, they were slapped down in the media as doing nothing.
Sometimes taking a stand against something you truly don't believe in is doing the right thing. Republicans can honestly say that the bill isn't there bill. Only three Republicans made it law in the Senate. In the house no one voted for it.
If the media was following the mood of the country instead of drinking their daily dose of Kool-Aid, they would see that most Americans agree with the Republican Party on this one. Stop giving away our childrens future! Stop giving companies (AIG is a great example) our money to reward those doing a crummy job.
Give it to the people!
What new ideas did the GOP propose, and Obama rejected? Can anyone answer this? The largest portion of the recovery bill went to tax cuts.
President Obama should not listen to ANY Republican views. The Republicans are a bunch of whining, backstabbing, zero-solution making politicans. If we wanted their input, the American people would have voted for them in November. We didn't because we want President Obama's and the Democrat's input instead of the Republicans who put us in this situation to begin with.
Obama is no Hillary.
Hillary can cross over party lines.
That is why I chose and voted for HRC to lead us.
Great blog to run across. Please spread the word of my blog "ESTATE" and I will do the same.
Kevin in Ohio-It is this type on useless back and forth between "liberals" and "conservatives" that been so useful in keeping all of our eyes off of the ball while our country has been taken for all it is worth for the past 40 years.
We are all "Americans" first. Forget the political dogma for change.
There will be no bipartisan solution to the current crisis. Obama needs to push the opposition to the side and take care of business. After the Republicans godawful performance over the last eight years, and their obvious disregard for anything not involving their own personal wealth creation, they do not even deserve to be heard.