Obama, GOP weekly addresses focus on economy
March 31st, 2012
06:00 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama, GOP weekly addresses focus on economy

(CNN) – Democrats and Republicans addressed struggles facing middle-class families during their weekly addresses Saturday following a busy week dominated by Supreme Court judges’ arguments on health care.

President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, spoke about proposals to help middle-class families, urging the opposing party to join theirs to find solutions.

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Obama boosted the "Buffett Rule," a proposal to end Bush-era tax cuts for wealthy individuals, or, as Democrats describe it, would "ask some of the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share."

"Now, if this were a perfect world, we'd have unlimited resources. No one would ever have to pay any taxes, and we could spend as much as we wanted," Obama said.

But that is not the case, and middle-income individuals are over-burdened, he said.

"Do we want to keep giving tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans like me, or Warren Buffett or Bill Gates - people who don't need them and never asked for them?" he asked.

He said Congress will soon vote on the rule, which he highlighted in his State of the Union address in January. Boehner touted the budget his chamber passed along party lines Thursday, and criticized what he considers a logjam in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

"The budget, I'm sorry to say, is just the tip of the iceberg," he said. "The Senate has stalled dozens of House-passed bills, several of which would implement the Republicans' 'all-of-the-above' energy strategy to address rising gas prices and help create jobs. All of these energy bills passed with bipartisan support. Many are backed by the president's own jobs council."

He said the president's influence is partly to blame for what he sees as inaction, and called on Obama to push for legislative action.

"So today, I'm challenging President Obama to make good on his rhetoric and urge the Senate to allow a vote on bipartisan, House-passed energy bills," he said.

But Democrats argue it is a two-way street, and point to an energy measure that stalled in the Senate on Thursday at Republican hands. It was a Democratic-backed plan to end tax subsidies to oil companies, and use that money for deficit reduction and clean energy projects. Like the GOP budget, it was not expected to pass.

This week, Congress is in recess for spring break after passing several bills which the White House has said it would sign.

The addresses come after a busy week for the president.

As he attended a nuclear security summit in South Korea, Obama's health care legislation - considered the signature legislation of his presidency - dominated headlines this week as the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about its constitutionality.

The Supreme Court now retreats from the spotlight to make decisions that could topple some or all of the sweeping health care reform bill.

Filed under: John Boehner • President Obama
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. J.V.Hodgson

    Health care should pass the SCOTUS test(s) as it is as viable as third party Car insurance.
    Those 50 m uninsured do not get treatment free it costs all of the insured the amount needed to cover the cost... that includes individuals small businesses and large corporates.
    If you believe those 50m are not costing all of us Insured money ... wrong!! Me:-
    I see no difference to insuring all by mandate as compared with vaccinating kids free against various diseases or Influenza jabs for free for those susceptible when a global pandemic is announced by the WHO.
    The health of the economy depends on the health of all the people not just those with money to pay for it.

    March 31, 2012 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The only way our country can move forward is that republicans are no longer in a position of leadership. Under Boehner, Congress is dysfunctional, and the 5 right wingnut supreme court justices have made the the highest court in the land partisan.

    March 31, 2012 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  3. Another Day in the Idiot Mines

    Hmmm, the Orangeman has the nerve to call the Senate obstructionist. Then to top it off he acts as if an "all of the above" energy policy is his party's idea. The public knows that "all of the above" has been President Obama's consistent policy from the start. The GOBP policy has always been "whatever our wealthy backers favor."

    March 31, 2012 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  4. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    A little late for the republican morons to started talking about the economy after month of talking about non issues such as birth control and religion, Dem landslide coming in Nov. Teapublicans have done nothing for the last three years except work againest our economy to try to make Obama look bad at our exspense!!!!

    March 31, 2012 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Should have been, . . .a partisan joke.

    March 31, 2012 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  6. diridi

    Economy is gradually getting better. Even at my work place, they raised my work hours, and my salary. True. We are getting lot of orders....true.

    March 31, 2012 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  7. Ed1

    Paradoxical Quote of The Day From Ben Stein :

    “Fathom the Hypocrisy of a Government

    that requires every citizen to prove

    they are insured.... but not everyone

    must prove they are a citizen.”;

    March 31, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  8. WiredweirdinSF

    What a joke. Obama focus on the economy. That is crazy talk for democrat liberals. They have done everything possible to destroy this country and its economy.

    March 31, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  9. gg

    what does republicans no about the middle class

    March 31, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  10. GI Joe

    I'm sure Boehner backed Cantor and Ryan to put the screws to the entire country and give more to the corporations (his campaign donors).

    March 31, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  11. Brian Andrew

    Well,That's a great decision.....free antivirus

    March 31, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  12. Biotechdev

    The deficits are due to a combinaton of decreased revenue from the recession and increased spending by the federal government. And as the spending begins to further destabilize the economy (that is, when our debt went above GDP), and as the president threatens businesses with tax hikes and new regulations, the jobs go overseas instead of to Americans. So the revenue doesn't increase to cut the deficit. Instead of trying to make America attractive to business, the president continues his attacks on them, so the revenue continues to fall. So the president responds by proposing more spending. It is a death spiral and Obama is too much of a rigid ideologue to consider other approaches to pull us out of it.

    March 31, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  13. bullock w

    Gop will be great for repbluic
    Well. I said warning warning to people that please do not sent to western union support to afrcain amercian that people are cheat vote support for presdient obama from fraud check scam
    Please repbluic must keep watch what about fraud check scam and vote support for obama

    March 31, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  14. Living in the REAL world

    Obama had had his 4 years and failed, even by his own standards. The economy is stagnant and only started showing signs of life after Republicans took the House in 2010. Democrats have had the Senate for 6 years, the Whitehouse for 4 years and the House for 4 out of the last 6 years and here were sit with high unemployment and a stagnant economy. We simply cannot wait forever as people are going bankrupt and losing their homes. Time for a different approach and one not based on hope but sound financial strategy.

    March 31, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  15. diridi

    Economy is getting lot better. they need to focus on Oil prices. I don't think any one can fix it. India, and China are driving., need Oil...in olden days, they never used cars. America need to push Alternate fuel. This is not only good for nation, and good for world....Green energy, alternate-energy-focus on it. good luck, Obama2012.

    March 31, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  16. Little Jimmy Truth

    Obama copied infamous king as King George III. He will become King Barak Obama, will raise taxes.

    March 31, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  17. Blindersoff

    Boehner is, by far, the worst and the weakest speaker of the house ever. No substance. A total loser.

    March 31, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  18. Slightly Left of Center

    @ bullock w
    Gop will be great for repbluic
    Well. I said warning warning to people that please do not sent to western union support to afrcain amercian that people are cheat vote support for presdient obama from fraud check scam
    Please repbluic must keep watch what about fraud check scam and vote support for obama

    WHAT? NONE of your posts make any sense. Please, learn proper ENGLISH, spelling, grammar, and punctuation. At least get someone to translate your babbling. Otherwise, you are just wasting everyone's time.

    March 31, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  19. bcrunner

    I love the people who post here that want to blame President Obama for the economy which by the way is getting better every single month.. then the others who say it's getting better only since the Republicans took office... Which is it? is it getting better? This quarter has been the best quarter for the markets since the late 1990s. The rich, by the way, have benefited the most... And, if the Republicans had allowed the jobs bill to go through a year of so ago, unemployment would be way below where it is now. The strategy from day one of his presidency has been to make him a one-term president. The Republicans have done NOTHING to help the people get back to work. No wonder that with even higher employment the president's numbers are still favorable. He is trying everything to help the middle class and people see it. Could he had done some things differently? maybe.. but with what he inherited, he has done damn good...

    March 31, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  20. FIELD1stSGT

    WOW! Ain't he smart. WHAT ECONOMY?

    March 31, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  21. bcrunner

    And, by the way "bullock", you make no sense. If you are from another country, please say so we'll know why. Otherwise, you shouldn't even try to post. I have seen some of your posts in the past and you sound the same...

    March 31, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  22. lili

    the only way we can move forward faster is to vote as many repos out of office as possible. They are a milstone around the neck of the American people. Obama 2012 Foward !!!

    March 31, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  23. bcrunner

    @WiredweirdinSF: HMMMMM..... Obama and the Democrats/liberals have done everything possible to destroy the country? I think that description fits the Republicans best. And, if you are going to throw that talking point out there, tell us why. Back up your claim with some facts.

    March 31, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  24. lili

    Some people have a limited use of english they are still allowed to voice their opinion and make comments. Unless you are a moron most remarks can be understood. Thats what makes this counrty great. Everyone get's a say even if we don't like yours. So bullock keep on writting and left of center dont' bother reading comments if it waste your time. Obam 2012 a man for all people.

    March 31, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |