Political messages urge against government shutdown
February 26th, 2011
10:37 AM ET
12 years ago

Political messages urge against government shutdown

Washington (CNN) - While Congress works to prevent a government shutdown over a deal to continue funding the government, President Obama and Republican Sen. Rob Portman used their weekly web and radio addresses to advocate against gridlock.

Obama urged Democrats and Republicans to find common ground "so we can accelerate, not impede, economic growth."

"For the sake of our people and our economy, we cannot allow gridlock to prevail," Obama said in Saturday's message. "Neither party will get everything it wants. Both sides will have to compromise."

The newly elected senator from Ohio stressed "getting our debt and deficits under control," as the most important step Washington can take to create jobs and stimulate the economy.

"Our goal as Republicans is to make sensible reductions in this spending and create a better environment for job growth, not to shut down the government," Portman said in the weekly GOP address Saturday.

This comes after Senate Democrats tentatively embraced a plan Friday proposed by Republicans to immediately cut $4 billion in federal spending as part of the plan that would keep the government running until March 18. The current short-term spending plan, or continuing resolution, expires March 4.

But despite the bipartisan rhetoric, the weekly messages also looked ahead to the larger impending budget fight.

Portman said the president's 2012 budget proposal would double the national debt and lock in higher levels of spending.

"He rejected the dire warnings and recommendations of his own fiscal commission and not only kicked the can down the road but made the road more perilous by advocating deeper debt and ignoring bipartisan calls for entitlement reform and pro-growth policies, including tax reform and regulatory restraint," Portman said.

He proposed Congress enact new tax policies, real health care reform, regulatory reform and a new energy policy to "meet our economic and fiscal problems head-on."

But the president said his proposals, which include a freeze on annual domestic spending over the next five years and do not tackle entitlement reform, are "just a start."

"If we're serious about tackling our long-run fiscal challenges, we also need to cut excessive spending wherever we find it – in defense spending, spending in Medicare and Medicaid, and spending through tax breaks and loopholes," Obama said.

- CNN Congressional Producers Deirdre Walsh and Ted Barrett contributed to this report

soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Dr Matrix

    For all the people who live by Rush's talking points, what is the difference between the "transfer of wealth" to the people through the programs that they claim are bankrupting the country and the "transfer of wealth" by the previous administration to KBR, Haliburton, Titan, Blackwater, etc?

    February 26, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  2. Rick CT

    How is Congress working to avert the shutdown. They're on vacation – AGAIN!!! Must be a real pressing issue.

    February 26, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  3. kyle

    America will regret the day they elected all these tea bags in office, all complaints, no solutions.

    February 26, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  4. Sue

    If Obama and the Democrats can't even cut some spending to get a 'temporay' budget through-–what kind of credibility do they have in regard to balancing a budget and cutting spending--NONE!!! And, the majority of Independents-who will decide the election in 2012--are seeing this every day. Instead of Obama trying to put his nose into the business of other states who are trying to balance their budgets-he should work on his own budget. However, he definitely had to make time for his Motown party at the White House.

    February 26, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  5. Darrell

    It so funny to hear you "Wackos"on the right try to blame Obama and the Dems for this problem....how quickly you forget that Clinton handed GWB/Republicans a surplus and they spent up and got this country in the mess that we are in now...Google is a great 20th century invention...you Wackos should try using Google, or better yet get a history book, to the learn about what happen during the GWB/Republican governing era...Remember: It was the Republicans who said "Deficits don't matter" Every story has a beginning...and this story starts with the mis-handling of our country's finance by the GWB/Republicans..As the saying goes."a mind is a terrible thing to waste"...you Wackos have lost your minds every time you open your mouths to blame the wrong people who started, and who wants to keep this, mess going.

    February 26, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  6. Randy

    Portman said "He[Obama] rejected the dire warnings and recommendations of his own fiscal commission..." Excuse me, sir, but so did you Republicans. How conveniently he and they ignore such minor things ...

    February 26, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. Keith

    Goldman projects US GDP to be slashed in half if Republican budget proposals were to be implemented. More Republican job killing.

    February 26, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  8. Annie, Atlanta

    MAC – the media hasn't had a liberal bias, other than a few shows on in the evening on MSNBC, since huge multinational corporations bought them up. Where are you getting your information? It's no longer about telling us straight out what we need to know. It's about putting a spin on it to make it profitable. Profits over people. That's where it has gone.

    February 26, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  9. Annie, Atlanta

    MAC, you do realize that those public sector union workers take less in pay than the private sector to subsidize their pensions and health care, right? It's part of the "bargain." Didn't think so. Back in the 80s I was making the same hourly wage at a public sector non union job as my Dad who was a teamster. The only difference is he was taking part of those wages and putting them towards union dues, so when he retired he had a pension. Just because there's corruption at the top, as there always is with power and money, doesn't mean the actual workers are getting sweetheart deals.

    February 26, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  10. Annie, Atlanta

    Valwayne – the spending started with President Bush, in order to keep the economy from falling off a cliff. In a depression or recession the only entity with enough capital to recharge the economy are global governments. The US isn't the only country that is spending more right now so we don't sink into a depression. They all are. So would you prefer we just stoop the spending, and come what may?

    February 26, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    Mac: "Maybe the half of America that do not pay income taxes needs to be taxed."

    Like all the corporations and millionaires/billionaires that hide their money in off-shore accounts?

    Or are you talking about the families of 4 that bring in less than $40,000?

    Or the retirees on Social Security who paid into the system their whole working lives?

    How about eliminating tax subsidies for the oil industry, which has been experiencing record profits? How about eliminating no-bid contracts for companies like Haliburton and going after all the overcharges they've done?

    How about closing tax loopholes that reward companies for shipping American jobs overseas?

    How about raising the FICA limit from $106,000 to $250,000?

    Best yet, how about you stop regurgitating Fox talking points and deal with reality?

    February 26, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain

    Mac: Cut the Union Dues so that the Corrupt Unions and the Corrupt Politicians can no longer gouge taxpayers with their pay offs to the Unions with pay and benefit increases and special privilages.

    You think Unions are so bad, why don't you go live in a country where employees are at the mercy of employers, with no guarantee of wages, no benefits, no workplace safety, etc., etc.. Why don't you go live in China where all these corporations are sending our jobs?

    Why don't you do that, get some perspective and get back to us before you simply parrot what Rush tells you to say?

    February 26, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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