March 26th, 2009
05:17 PM ET
6 years ago

House GOP rolls out budget alternative

Rep. John Boehner says President Obama's budget is 'completely irresponsible.'
Rep. John Boehner says President Obama's budget is 'completely irresponsible.'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - House Republican leaders rolled out their alternative budget on Thursday to respond to President Obama's charge they were slamming his proposal without offering one of their own.

At a Capitol Hill news conference, House GOP Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, held up an 18 page document entitled, "The Republican Road to Recovery" and said, "well, it's just not true, because here it is Mr. President."

Watch GOP leaders unveil their budget blueprint

But, when pressed for the details on how the GOP plan differed from the President's, Boehner acknowledged he didn’t have many. “This is a blueprint for where we’re going," Bohener said.

The blueprint includes familiar Republican proposals to limit wasteful government spending, cut the size of government, and provide incentives to private entities to expand access to healthcare. It also includes a major overhaul of the tax code, proposing a marginal tax rate of 10 percent for income up to $100,000 and 25 percent for any income above that level.

Pressed for specific budget numbers, Boehner said Rep. Paul Ryan, the top Republican on the budget committee, wouldn’t be releasing that information until next week. Ryan announced at the press conference that Republicans would show a "leaner budget, a budget with lower taxes, lower spending, and lower borrowing." But he left before reporters could ask him how his plan would meet those goals.

Boehner was left to field questions. He said Republicans would do a better job than the President cutting the deficit. When asked what the goal was, he answered curtly, “to do better.” Pressed again on how, Boehner said "you'll see next week." The reporter tried again, asking how the GOP plan would do better than President Obama's goal of cutting the deficit in half, and Boehner repeated, "Oh, it'll be better."

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs joked with reporters about the Republican proposal, saying "it took me several minutes to read it."

"It's interesting to have a budget that doesn't contain any numbers. I think the party of no has become the party of no new ideas, " Gibbs said.

The press conference to push back against the “party of no” appeared to expose a rift inside the GOP leadership.

One Republican aide tells CNN that Boehner and House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence insisted on coming out on Thursday to counter President Obama's criticism, even though the Republican budget committee staffers were still finalizing the numbers for the alternative budget proposal.

But a Boehner spokesman flatly denied that, and said leadership staff decided last week to unveil the outline of their plan, even before the final details were ready for the floor debate next week. And Rep. Pence’s spokesman argued that the blueprint offered plenty of details on the “significant policy differences” between House Republicans and the President, and said they hoped to have specific numbers soon on their proposal.


Filed under: Congress
soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. Lady K

    If they don't have any details until next week, why did they waste both time and money revealing just an outline? Now they look unprofessional and out of touch with reality. When Mr. Obama said that he likes to know what he's talking about before he speaks to the public, maybe the republicans should've taken that into consideration for themselves.

    March 27, 2009 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  2. obama 09-2016

    da GOP is da party of NO

    March 27, 2009 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  3. pat

    a budget without numbers do they think that were all stupid it should be called The Grand Illusion

    March 27, 2009 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
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