March 26th, 2009
05:17 PM ET
11 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. tracy

    Now it is a party of Reaction~

    March 26, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  2. R in Maine

    DOA! That smirking half-wit has not had a significant thought in months.

    March 26, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  3. Mel of Alexandria, Virginia

    That is not a budget. It is the same old, same old posturing for the base of the republican party. It is their campaign manifesto. Any thing of which they accuse the President, just look carefully, that is exactly what they are doing. When some numbers are offered at the last minute they will spin it to say that their proposal was not considered.
    It is just a twelve page blue print of a bridge to no where."Thanks, but no thanks."

    March 26, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  4. DJ

    When will repubes get it through their heads that their methods do not work? Critical analysis of American history shows Government programs help Americans ( FDR, 3rd best president behind Lincoln and Washington). A critical analysis of healthcare in other countries will show several models that work better than our version...

    Stop treating healthcare as a business and start treating it as a right.

    I don't think I'll bother commenting here anymore, too many people talking at one another here.

    March 26, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  5. DannyRay 1950

    18 whole pages! Whoo, whoo! I'll bet they barely had time to finish coloring all of them. What a joke.

    March 26, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  6. jay

    when did CNN become as bad as Faux News?

    March 26, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  7. Will

    I used to respect the GOP. They were always a party of thinkers – tought minded, maybe heartless at times, but intellectuals to the manor born. NOT ANYMORE! C'mon! This 19 page essay is a joke. If you are going to counterpunch, use a haymaker! You must reform healthcare to relieve our businesses of having to carry the financial burden and the reduced competitiveness that results. You must reduce our dependence on foreign oil because it is too dangerous not to. We must improve PUBLIC education or we will be outdone by the Chinese and the Indians!! C'mon republicans!!!

    March 26, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  8. vennessa

    say boogie boogie man!

    March 26, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  9. Melissa

    It is not a "budget alternative" when you give only 19 pages with NO NUMBERS. THAT is a joke.

    March 26, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  10. Tariq

    If we wanted principles, I could have 'googled' the keywords "Republican Principles".

    It is easy to talk about a vision of expenditures and cut-backs, but if there are no numbers to support that vision...then that could not possibly be a budget. As far as I am concerned, these "principles" might amount to the very deficit that Republicans are fighting back....there are no numbers to show otherwise...even Boehner has no idea. He said the details will be rolling out soon building on these "principles".

    March 26, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  11. Rickymo

    Fools...they have nothing to offer!

    March 26, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  12. catmom

    Okay, so Republicans had a hissy fit with Geithner when he didn't give specifics but they expect that their so called budget without specifics like cost is supposed to inspire confidence. Bohener looked rather foolish today and so did the Republicans. Are they for real?

    Then you have all these Republicans whining about Gibbs, please. You all don't have a problem with Republicans whining day in and day out about hoping President Obama fails, oh, excuse me that President Obama's policies fail. Get serious people. Republicans are looking more and more pitiful by the day.

    March 26, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  13. Zion

    Their budget does not contain numbers. Wow, and you call President Obama experienced. He doesn't need that Harvard education to deal with this group of Republicans.

    March 26, 2009 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  14. Zion


    Their budget does not contain numbers. Wow, and you call President Obama experienced. He doesn't need that Harvard education to deal with this group of Republicans.


    Sorry, correcting myself. You call him "inexperienced."

    March 26, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  15. marco

    hey john who much for your budget?

    March 26, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  16. Heidi

    Plan and simple give it a rest, the Republicans are done. A day late and a dollar short.

    March 26, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  17. New Yorker

    So, the Republicans present their plan and all the White House Press Secretary can do is make stupid jokes about it. Guess what Gibbs... the little we know about the Republican plan sounds a lot better than the little we know about Obama's plan.

    March 26, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  18. Andi

    'you'll see next week'


    sorry. That's pretty pathetic, Boner

    March 26, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  19. Mr Phil

    A 19-page collection of "talking points" does not a budget proposal make (apologies to Mr. Shakespeare). This is even more true when the vast majority of it contains flat out lies. Single proprietorship businesses were NOT responsible for 80 per cent of the job growth in 2005. Referencing some limited cases in England where patients were refused treatments (without outlining all of the specifics for each case) becomes completely irrelevant when our privatized system does the same thing every day. Not only is the Republican leadership completely ignorant and out of touch, they are blatant liars as well.

    March 26, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  20. marco

    hey john how much for the BUDGET?

    March 26, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  21. JON


    March 26, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  22. Kent in CA

    Mr Boehner launched a most distasteful insult today.

    Mr Boehner declared in his news conference that two days ago, the president said he had not seen a budget proposal from the Republicans. Then he said: 'Well it's just not true. Here it is...'

    He flat out called his president a liar, and told a blatant lie in doing so. As the Republican budget was unveiled today, it is quite correct that the president had not seen one two days ago.

    And now we learn the the Rebublican budget proposal is more a work in progress than a final proposal.

    Shame on you, Congressman. I expect maturity and honor from our leaders. Your behavior is something I expect to see in a kindergarten sandbox.

    March 26, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  23. Jason

    More tax cuts for the stupid are the republicans? They just DONT GET IT!. Tax cuts for the rich DO NOT WORK. Its been prove time and time again. Seriously, how mentally challenged are they?

    March 26, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  24. BS

    HA! HA! HA! GOP stand for Got-0-Plans...

    March 26, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  25. I am waiting for Gop budgt Plan

    Rolls Out budget Plan? I thought they only have 19 page of a talking point. And you call it a rolls out plan? It is amazing!

    March 26, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
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