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

Steele urges GOP to stress fiscal discipline

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/09/art.steele.0609.gi.jpg caption="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. Char

    Mr. Steele, please explain, Why do you and the Republicans not want average Americans to have health care? Why do you and the Republicans not want to fix the economy? More importantly, Why do you and the Republicans only look out for the rich and do not care about the struggling average American? Answer those questions Mr. Steele before you go criticizing the President. At least the President is making an effort, what are you doing except making a fool out of yourself- did you have to ask Boss Limbaugh for permission to make this speech?

    June 9, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  2. Melissa

    Republicans wouldn't know fiscal discipline if it bit them on their big shiny butts. They are more concerned with making laws controlling peoples freedom and banning anything they think immoral than they are with responsible spending. Steele needs to shut up.

    June 9, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. Michele

    Bet Steele is beside himself over PAYGO. Whatever will the Republicans stand on if Obama starts balancing the budget every year? Why didn't THEY think of that about 9 years ago, all those fiscally responsible Republicans? Oh.

    June 9, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  4. Christian

    Stressing ideology is one thing, actually showing fiscal restraint is another. Steele needs to remember that all of the bailout spending started under the Bush administration. I believe it is too late for any of the current Republican's in Congress to push fiscal restraint with the poor job they have done putting it into action.

    June 9, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  5. hadelaide

    The party's ideology of fiscal discipline is only adhered to when they are out of power. We all know that as soon as they walk the halls of power, they spend all they can on wars overseas so they can profiteer. Trying to buy favors in other countries, they forget their are citizens of this country who lack access to basic infrastructure (like housing, toilet facilities, etc). Some areas in Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana lack indoor toilets and they use plastic bags and the forest like 3rd world dwellers. How disgusting!

    June 9, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  6. Greg Pottstown Pa

    "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,"
    He makes a good point. For a long time we heard democrats asking what the exit strategy was for Iraq. Why don't I hear them asking what the exit strategy is for the banks or the car companies? Obama's stimulus has failed, that's why he wants to spend faster. We have been attacked by terrorists, lost 1.8 million jobs, apologized to the hole world, let Iran continue to build nukes, North Korea is testing nukes and has said it will disregard the armistice that ended the war, now they have two Americans in labor camps, and all since 1/20/09. But its been a good few months for Obama, Right?
    Another thing I think is funny is that Obama has good support from the people, but they don't support his policies. From stimulus to Gitmo to car makers to Iraq. Most people in this country don't support his Ideology.

    June 9, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. The Unshrub

    NOW they want to be fiscal conservative. It's a little too late for them.

    June 9, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. EBC

    Is this some kind of joke? The Republicans taking fiscal discipline? The GOP must have fallen and bumped thick K-RAZY heads. This country's economy is in the toilet because these CHUMPS spent like drunken sailers, NOW they have the balls to critizize the Obama Administration.

    Micheal Steele and the entire GOP never practices what they claim to preach!!! They are the biggest bigots and hypocrites, no surprises there.

    These INSANE statements from the likes of Sarah Palin, Michael Steele, Cantor. Boehnor, Graham, etc. proves just incompetent the GOP party truly is.

    They have now become the party of K-RAZY.

    June 9, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. Vic of New York

    Before anyone in the Republican Party is to be taken seriously regarding "fiscal responsibility" - I would expect a comprehensive public appology signed by every sitting Republican Senator and Congressman acknowledging that THEY let America go to hell in a handbasket during the Bush-League years. I would also expect a COMPREHENSIVE as to how they will make it better. By the way I mean backed up by numbers - not rhetoric.

    June 9, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  10. Dan Elbs

    I'm a US expat for one reason........................Ronald Reagan! Stinking Republicans destroyed the United States and have the audacity to point the finger elsewhere. Typical

    June 9, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. D. Tree

    The problem is Republicans don't follow their own ideology – they left us trillions in debt.

    Don't trust your money with a republican – progressive fiscal policies like Obama's are proven to work... just give it some time people.

    How about lending a hand and HELPING instead of criticizing and offering nothing new!

    June 9, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. Bridgette

    Well it's a little too late for that isn't it.

    June 9, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. musician

    Steele has yet to say anything that makes a lick of sense to me. He seems to have a knack for completely missing the point. After the Republicans created the conditions leading to our economic meltdown, the Bush Administration that gave 700 billion to the banks with no strings of any kind attached, the tax cuts for the wealthy during two wars, the unwavering support for the completely unsustainable energy status quo, the inability to deal with out-of-control health care costs, the pandering to insurance, pharmaceutical and financial powers at the expense of the American people, the almost total disregard for the environment, the constitution and diplomacy.... he`s still trying to sell the notion of returning to the good ol` days of Republican policy. My head is spinning. Who is dumb enough to buy this load of crap????

    June 9, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. Richard-Arkansas

    Mr. Steele, you first need to explain them what fiscal discipline is since they may have forgotten over the past 8 years when they controlled the checkbook.

    June 9, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  15. Dale

    Republicans have no credibility on this issue of overspending. They have spent as much as Democrats, just on different things.

    Maybe someone should propose a "pay as you go" law. But wait, Obama just beat you to it. Once again, President Obama says "Checkmate!" to his Republican opponents. 🙂 Damn, he is good.

    June 9, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  16. In denial........

    There's no way the GOP can legitmately question the present Insurance friendly health care system vs. The Obabma health plan, and which would save more $$$ for our country. The Republican "top heavy" Insurance health care system that gives breaks to Insurance companies instead of American citizens is ALWAYS more costly.....for treatment.....for health Insurance policies......for perscriptions.....and for ER visits.

    June 9, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. Johnny b

    For GOP fiscal restraint check out the costofwar.com It is interesting how we NEEDED an unnecessary war to route out Saddam, but we DO NOT need to provide health care to 40 million people. Good job GOP! War 1st, U.S. citizens last...

    June 9, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
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