Obama asks for ‘common ground’ in budget debate

President Barack Obama speaks at Miami Central Senior High School in Miami, Friday, March. 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Steve Mitchell)

President Barack Obama is urging lawmakers to find common ground on a budget deal to avert a government shutdown and says he’s willing to agree to steeper cuts to get there.

The president issued a call for compromise Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address but without offering any specifics on how to bridge the $50 billion gulf that divides the White House and Democratic budget proposal from the much steeper cuts offered by Republicans.

The competing plans are headed for test votes in the Senate in the coming week that neither is expected to survive but that will set the stage for further negotiations. The government is running on a stopgap spending bill that expires March 18, so the parties have until then to come up with a plan to pay for the remainder of the fiscal year through Sept. 30.

“We need to come together, Democrats and Republicans, around a long-term budget that sacrifices wasteful spending without sacrificing the job-creating investments in our future. My administration has already put forward specific cuts that meet congressional Republicans halfway. And I’m prepared to do more,” said Obama, although the claim that Democrats are meeting Republicans halfway only stands up under the Democratic explanation of the intricate numbers game being played on Capitol Hill.

“But we’ll only finish the job together — by sitting at the same table, working out our differences and finding common ground,” the president said.

Facing a federal deficit of $1.6 trillion, Republican leaders are under pressure from tea partiers to stick to a deep menu of $61 billion in spending cuts for the remainder of this year that’s been passed by the GOP-controlled House. But Obama has threatened to veto that plan, and a Democratic counteroffer of $6.5 billion in cuts — on top of $4 billion already signed into law — restores money the House GOP cuts from education, health and other programs.

Republicans used their weekly address to reject Obama’s approach on the budget.

“You may have heard President Obama say that we need to make sure ‘we’re living within our means,'” freshman Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., said in the address. “He’s right about that. Unfortunately, his budget doesn’t match his words.

“It continues out-of-control spending, it adds to our $14 trillion debt and it adds to the uncertainty that makes it harder to create jobs. Maintaining the status quo — and refusing to offer a credible plan to cut spending — is just unacceptable and inexcusable,” the lawmaker said.

“The American people want us to keep the government running while cutting its cost,” Black said

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Online:

Obama address: www.whitehouse.gov

GOP address: http://www.youtube.com/RepublicanConference

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press

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One Response to "Obama asks for ‘common ground’ in budget debate"

  1. Carl Nemo  March 5, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Common ground my butt. Is this President along with Congress candidates for the ‘short bus’…?!

    They’re spending 1,600 billion more than they are taking from tax revenues and all they can come up with is a lousy 6.5 billion and are arguing over that amount. Seemingly to me they are out to crash this nation. It’s all about ‘them’ and their ‘pet programs’ with little concern for “We the People”. Fie on them all.

    I’ve posted the link to “The Government Fraud and Waste Report” a number of times during the past several weeks. Hopefully folks take time to go over the items and numbers. Ouch is all I can say!

    http://hoguenews.com/?p=4834

    The waste and fraud outlined in the report is mind-boggling to say the least and again, all they can come up with is 6.5 billion? All I can say is our leadership is up to something and it surely doesn’t bode well for this nation.

    In summation, seemingly our “end of days” leadership is out to kill America along with “Lady Liberty”. The barbarians have crashed the gate and are now looting the castle’s keep and have been so in earnest for the past ten years; I.E. our Congress along with an Executive who are working feverishly to trowel in the remaining bricks of our “New World Order” electronically surveilled prison! Their mission: reduce the greater majority of Americans to serfs working for little but subsistence while these annointed one’s, the ‘elect’ enjoy the best of everything in the manor house on their engineered global plantation.

    Carl Nemo **==

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