June 9th, 2009
01:20 PM ET
5 years ago

Steele urges GOP to stress fiscal discipline

epublican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is urging congressional Republicans and state GOP leaders to continue publicly questioning President Obama's economic and health care plans.
epublican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is urging congressional Republicans and state GOP leaders to continue publicly questioning President Obama's economic and health care plans.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is urging congressional Republicans and state GOP leaders to continue publicly questioning President Obama's economic and health care plans, while highlighting the party's ideology of fiscal discipline.

Steele made the request Tuesday to all 168 RNC members as well as the GOP congressional leadership in a memo obtained by CNN.

On the economy, Steele takes aim at Obama's decision to use federal dollars as a lifeline to help save the automotive and financial industries.

"Republicans should continue to demand answers from the Administration about when they plan on returning companies to the private sector and getting them off of the public dole," Steele writes in the memo.


The RNC chairman also chastises Obama and Democrats on their plan to overhaul the nation's health care system. He tells his fellow Republicans to "[a]dvocate for health care reform while opposing efforts by President Obama and Congressional Democrats to force Americans into a government-run health care system."

Steele advises the party to "continue to stand for fiscal responsibility."

This is one of the first times that Steele has looked to use his position as RNC chair to influence the policy direction of the party.

"Chairman Steele was serious when he said that Republicans will be unified in taking on President Obama and the Democrats for their big-government, overreaching policies that are moving our country in the wrong direction," a Steele advisor, speaking on the condition of anonymity, tells CNN.


Filed under: GOP • Michael Steele • President Obama
soundoff (142 Responses)
  1. frank, NC

    Good,. Its about time.

    Remember as of Jan 09, 90% of the deficit is attributed to a republican President.

    June 9, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  2. Fnord-a-saurus Rex

    good call GOP. Lets stop spending billions on causing death in other countries and fix all our problems at home.

    Funny how spending money to fix health care or the economy is wrong but spending billions on making war is ok with the GOP.

    Get your priorities straight!

    June 9, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  3. Ted

    Wow. Steele has actually determined there are topics that should be discussed rather than waiting for Boss Limbaugh to tell him what to say. But it would appear that the repubs want to deny fellow American citizens health care while their health care is paid for by you and me. that stinks.

    June 9, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. John B. From New Hampshire

    doesn't this strike an ironic tone? after all the spending (two wars etc.) that the bush admin and republican congress put us through for six years, one would think they would try and practice what they preach... or not

    June 9, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. Chipster

    Excuse me, but how exactly do you ".....highlighting the party's ideology of fiscal discipline." when you just spent the last 8 years borrowing and spending us into a huge recession and doubled deficit?

    You can't continue to stand for something that you haven't ever stood for. Everyone praises Reagan as the ideal Republican and, nice as he seemed to be, he printed money and borrowed to avoid raising taxes because that's an unpopular thing to do. Well, he's still popular but Clinton brought down the deficit.

    Fiscal discipline in the GOP? What a joke! You're fooling fewer people now.

    June 9, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  6. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    OH, NOW the Republicans want to stress strong fiscal/financial discipline....what happened when Bush and Company kept adding more and more war debt without putting it into the budgets they sent to Congress over the years of Bush's war?

    June 9, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. Joie

    Conservatives haven't been FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE since William McKinley! Give me a break!

    June 9, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. Change in America

    The Republicans need to go and find a new leader because these guys are jerks...Bush was the worse president.....American love President Obama

    June 9, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  9. JohnS

    We have more fiscal discpline now that during the last 8 years.

    The American People are suffering because of the last 8 Republican years.

    Let the President do his work.

    We support our President!

    June 9, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. John from California

    Michael Steele is 30 years too late for the GOP to be stressing fiscal discipline. Starting with Ronald Reagan and continuing through George W. Bush, the GOP has been the party of fiscal disaster.

    The current economic depression is a result of this GOP fiscal policy and no amount of FOX News propaganda is going to change that fact.

    Saying one thing and doing another is a favorite gimmick of the GOP but, the American people now are living the republican fiscal policy and collectively, they are not at all happy.

    Just a little over 8 years ago Bill Clinton and the Democrats gave the newly elected Bush administration a great economic start with a $3 Trillion dollar surplus and the GOP turned that into a $10 Trillion dollar debt.

    Is this the fiscal discipline Michael Steel is advocating?

    June 9, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  11. Typical Republican

    Yes, all companies should be private. Like, Privately owned Police forces, Privately owned Fire Departments, Privately owned DMV, Privately owned "People that make a road to my house", Privately owned courts, Privately owned Government, Privately owned Military.

    That's the ticket. It will be WONDERFUL to have no roads, a corrupt police force, and a military for profit.

    PS: Viva la Halliburton, blow up some more of our bases and kill more of our soldiers!

    June 9, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  12. randy california

    Yes...let's hope the dems have as much fiscal disipline as the pubs had. What a joke!

    June 9, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  13. Dawn in Pa

    and lets stay the party of NO!!!!! Big Government began along time ago, not just under Obama. Clinton had a surplus, Bush 41, had READ MY LIPS NO NEW TAXES, and guess what we had new taxes. Reagan had the trickle down to the lower class people.

    The GOP was never really fiscally responsible. Bush 43 gave blank checks to Pakistan. Never placing the two wars in the Fiscal budget, (so how much did the United States pay for two wars?) and then blame the Democrats for the fiscal mess we are in, Remember any bill that comes to him, he had the power of a black sharpie to write, VETO, that is the power of the President....

    June 9, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  14. John

    Was there any FISCAL DISCIPLINE during the last 8 Years?

    June 9, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  15. MatthewDetroit

    The Republican party and congress as a whole for that matter has been a mess the last 4 years.
    It is time to be very fiscaly tight and to stop the spending and growing entitlements.
    Any Republican that does not want to live and breath fiscal responsiblity should be voted out.
    California is a great example of a state without any fiscal responsibility what so ever. They have driven themselves into the ground and refuse to cut spending. They should not receive any Federal Tax Dollars. I am glad that the Fed is not insuring their bonds.
    They will have to make serious cuts in social and welfare programs to get back on track.

    June 9, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  16. Russ

    Once again a stupid Republicant preaching no, no, no, no because a Democrat is behind it and preaching yes, yes, yes if a Republicant suggest it. And quit this "forcing everyone into a government run health care system" crap. No one is forcing anyone into it if they have insurance already. And Medicare certainly works a whole lot better than private health care so what's the freaking problem.

    June 9, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. brian

    Too bad that you're about 8 years too late to start stressing fiscal responsibility. So we have progressed from the politics of fear to the politics of "do what I say, not what I do".

    June 9, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  18. Michael

    It's a little late for the GOP to stress fiscal discipline...the time would have been about eight years ago.
    Now it sounds as sincere as a post-WWII fugitive Nazi stressing the need for tolerance and mutual respect.

    June 9, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. yom

    Where was this guy when GW and Chenney were throwing money at "war of choice" Who benefited from it? Defense contractors. Obama helped the banks from going under. Some of the banks are fit enough to PAY BACK money loaned. If not for that cool headedness and understanding of the economy, those banks could have gone under and jobs and lives lost. Mr Steele, the world is moving on and leaving you and your party behind. Join with the President and help make America and the world better.

    June 9, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  20. S Callahan

    Fiscal restraint is already happening in most families in the US...so why is the governement so late in catching up to the trend?

    I smell some bad news coming our way...it's almost as if the Rupubs and Demos do news clips together....fill us in CNN.

    June 9, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  21. Brad

    A decade late and few trillion bucks short....

    Nice try though.

    June 9, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  22. john

    Here we go again. health insurance i know very few that even have anything. Yet according to these nuts we need to continue the same while advocating change??? Gee just like the economy all over again. health care the way it is DOES NOT WORK this does not take rocket science. The policies that are out there at work are these buffet things where you only buy what you need, like NO major medical, one dr. visit per year, one X-ray. thats it period all ese heart caths etc out of pocket. All this as wages go in the downward slide, result bankruptcy loss of homes and total stress. Why because thanks to Southern congressmen sentators alike and years of republican evangelical control the job we have are contracted out. Firms the likes of Adecco have been given all the rights where employees no lomnger have paid holidays , vacations, raises, retirement or decent insurance. They simply refuse to even take the health premium out before taxes just cuz they are the biggest. This is just awful in a socalled country of plenty. Who do we have to thank? The likes of gigrich the lech and his cohearts. Just disgusting and this dope is just one more!

    June 9, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  23. katiec

    Fiscal responsibility?? Like they did these last eight years? They did not see a spending bill they did not like and spent money like there was no tomorrow.
    Well, tomorrow is here and now our country is trying to dig out of their "fiscal responsibility".
    How can these lying hypocrits even look at theirselves in the mirror?
    Do the have no conscious or feeling of responsibility at all?
    Isn't part of the definition of a terrors as those who attack and try to destroy a country? Does the GOP qualify???

    June 9, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  24. Mich

    I'm 10,000 dollors in the hole i've tried to spend my way out of it ,but it's kind of funny you can't do it. I don't know why the goverment thinks they can. Yet if I don't spend any extra money for a year I could pay that 10,000 dollors down to 1,000 dollors. So fiscle displine is the correct way to go I obama open's his eyes to this.

    June 9, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  25. Steph

    I'm confused. What does he mean by the wrong direction? Is getting us out of the current crisis (or should I say crises since there are so many happening all at once) the wrong direction? I don't think that allowing our country to continue the downward spiral it was on is the right direction. If they were really interested in the wellbeing of this country, they would stop the political pandering and admit that the stimulus is working and applaud the current administration for such swift action. Somehow, I doubt that will happen.

    June 9, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
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