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. I can see Canada from my house!

    18 pages? Does it come with connect-the-dots so the GOP members win a decoder ring?

    Morons, all. They have sat in hearings, and their alternative covers 18 pages? Let me guess, it starts with "tax cut", and ends with "tax-cut", interspersed with "tax cut".

    March 26, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  2. Republicans are CRAZY!

    That "budget plan" Boehner is holding is like two pages long!

    Who in the hell do these people think that they are fooling?

    "You'll see next week"?????


    We need a government that works, and this bickering for the sake of bickering needs to stop!

    March 26, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  3. Steph

    I read it in a few minutes as well. What a joke. There are more details in a cartoon! The cut and paste pictures from the internet are nice, though.

    March 26, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  4. Dee

    This is ridiculous. The Grand Opposition Party continues to show its true self. They oppose everything that the president does but have no plan of their own. They cannot even come up with a realistic looking budget. Who ever heard of a budget with no numbers! They also seem to have forgotten the fact that the reduced taxes for the rich and reduced government regulation caused our economic woes in the first place.

    March 26, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  5. elana

    Nineteen pages!!! HA HA HA

    March 26, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  6. dick burns

    hmm i could rip that "Budget" in half with my bare hands– i wonder if there are the names of communist infiltrators in there. hahahahahahahahahahahahah...

    March 26, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  7. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    March 26, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  8. SuZy0925

    "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 [sic] 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." From Rep. Mike Pence (R-Indiana) ... he will always believe "that a minority in Congress plus the American people equals the majority. ... We intend to take our case for fiscal discipline, growth and tax relief to the American people from sea to shining sea and if the American people will rise up, anything is possible on Capitol Hill," Pence said.

    OK people, LOOK at the GOP "Alternative"! It is 18 pages of a really bad marketing job. The GOP plan is a cutesy-pie little reiteration of all of their presidential campaign rhetoric. The "blueprint" is little bubbles in the margin that show how their plan "Curbs Spending–Lowers Taxes–Creates Jobs–Controls Debt". Guess what, Boner, Pence & Company, we (meaning the majority of the American people) DID rise up, actually just last November, and summarily rejected you and what you stand for and voted you and your tired old ideas OUT. I think you see the end of all your "rich white man" futures, and you definitely don't need shades because your futures ain't so bright! There is a reason you Republicans are a minority in Congress–figure it out! This "news" is SO very old.

    March 26, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  9. James A.

    Look at it in the picture and in the video. Physically, it couldn't be any more than six pages long! This is either a joke or it is written on microfiche. Can it be viewed online somewhere?

    March 26, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  10. Honorable Kansas Vet

    We have seen blueprints for years boys, its time to put a plan on paper and accept the responsibily. Oh, wait aceept responsibilty I am sorry what was I thinking.

    March 26, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  11. Larry

    If the Republican budget cuts cost then it is common since and will work.

    March 26, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  12. Roberto

    Does anyone remember that the size of government increased under Bush – CHeney? Anyone remember he created another cabinet position (homeland security) along with it's bueracracy? Anyone remember Bush took the nation debt from $5 trillion to $11 trillion? ANyone have a good explanation why a hedgefund manager making $400 million/yr should be in the 15% tax bracket? These and many other items are brought to you by the Republicans.

    Now, after Obama's been in office for over 2 months, the Republicans have an outline of what they want to do? How original. Let me guess: trickle down theory will solve everything. Mandatory Prayer in schools. Outlaw abortions. Make the tax rate for anyone making over $1M, 5%. Free guns for everyone. Decimating federal land for prospecting anything for $5 deposit.

    Is that about it.????

    March 26, 2009 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  13. Yvonne

    I have just completed reading the GOP Budget Outline. I am stunned, insulted, and infuriated. Seventeen half pages of "Obama Sucks" is not a governing or budgeting plan for this nation. Get serious about the American people and the job we hired you to do or GET OUT OF THE WAY.

    March 26, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  14. Jazzy

    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.......Next WEEK ????LOL

    March 26, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  15. Ladybird

    Here we go again! Another tax cut for the rich. Did it work the first
    time? NO! They shipped their money and jobs over seas. No new
    ideas, just the same old cut taxes,freeze spending,let them eat
    cake mentality!

    The Republicans are stale, throw them out with the old bread.

    March 26, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  16. Ray Fisher

    What a joke these Republicans continue to make of themselves as idiots. The whole party has gone George Bush, all of them dumb as dog stuff!!!

    March 26, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  17. z

    How can you say...Here it is....when there is nothing? If our unemployement is approaching 10%....with the repugs will be 30%-50%...and more without health care.
    Boehner....the magic you see you don't

    March 26, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  18. What's all the fuss about

    What I find interesting is that 'centrist democrats' are now the new republican party with regard to actual policy and practice and most republicans just seem to be toddlers having a fit. This is very sad(to see grown men behave this way).

    March 26, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  19. alvino

    What a joke the repubs on the hill have become.

    March 26, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  20. Barbara Ca

    Hold on their GOP!

    My household budget is a few pages shorter than the GOP budget for our nation, but isn't something very important missing?

    (Hint: my budget has numbers.)

    March 26, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  21. Susan

    Why are the Replublicans saying Obama's budget plan is irresponsible? Simply because he is a Democrat.

    Stop the Replublican/Democrat BS

    March 26, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |

    Wow, their budget has no line items, no numbers, except, for a tax cut for the rich and famous. Wow, the party of no is still the party of Got Old Principles. Repubs, come on, think, think, we are in a crisis situation and you still want the americal people to say Yes We Can to the same ole stuff that got us into this mess. Dah.

    March 26, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  23. Willa

    The American people have chosen Barack Obama as the leader who can best achieve their objectives. Most of President Obama's team and many others fundamentally agree on those objectives and on solutions that will get us where most of us want to be.

    House Republicans just don't get it. If Boehmer et al disagree with the goals of the majority of Americans, their policies will be counterproductive to those goals. That is why the Republicans lost the election in the first place.
    Few people will heed another Republican budget proposal except perhaps other Republicans. If Bohemer really wanted to contribute productive solutions, he would stop his obstructive meddling and be mindful of one thing. The will of the majority (of the American people) should drive his actions and not his own agenda.

    March 26, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  24. Ray

    Let's look at the this whole Republican budget fiasco from the perspective of a business (after all, the Republican party is the party of business.) Let's say Boehner is a company exec who opposes the company president's new budget, claiming it spends too much of the stock-holders dollars. He has been doing so for two months, every chance he gets. The new president finally comes before the board of directors and says that all that Boehner can do is complain because he has no alternative plan. Boehner then comes before the board waving a so-called "alternative budget" that he claims will save the company money and therefore save the investors money. When the chairman of the board asks to see the plan, he fines nothing but rhetoric; no details, no numbers, just rhetoric. Mr. Boehmer would have found himself excorted out of the building and told never to set foot on the premises again.

    This is exactly why the Republicans have lost the last two elections. They have gotten by on waving the American flag, flaunting God's name and extolling the virtues of unfettered capitalism for so long that they have forgotten that to govern well takes substance, not drivel.

    March 26, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  25. thankyou GOP, it is a start

    I don't care how bad the numbers are, and I am certain they are complete rubbish, you put something together, thank you

    March 26, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
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