No one expected Congressional Republicans to embrace President Barack Obama‘s massive deficit reduction plan after he unveiled it Monday in a Rose Garden address.
Everyone was right on that guess.
“Pitting one group of Americans against another is not leadership,” House Speaker John Boehner told reporters. “A my-way-or-the-highway approach is not the way to work with Congress.”
Over in the Senate, GOP Leader Mitch McConnell grumbled that “veto threats, a massive tax hike, phantom savings, and punting on entitlement reform is not a recipe for economic or job growth or even meaningful deficit reduction.”
Both McConnell and Boehner told Capitol Hill Blue that they hope the Joint Committee — dubbed the “Super Committee” — would come up with more reasoned approaches to deficit reduction.
But at least one member of that committee — Pennsylvania Freshman Republican Pat Toomey — sounded receptive to the President’s plan, saying the panel’s 12 members would at least consider Obama’s proposals.
Still Toomey has his doubts. In a prepared statement, the Senator said:
I am concerned that his deficit reduction strategy sometimes seems more defined by political posturing, such as recycling tax hikes that even lawmakers in his own party have publicly opposed. With the Select Committee’s deadline looming, we do not have time to waste on political games and pushing big tax increases that will only make our economy weaker for all Americans.
Over on the Democratic side, Sen. Chuck Schumer claimed the American people are on Obama’s side on the deficit reduction issue but added that the President must “take his message to the people” and sell it.