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“Whenever the government does more, there’s less for the private sector to do,” he said. “That’s a movement toward socialism.”

He criticized the new president for what he said was a retreat on campaign promises to run an open and transparent government, citing Mr. Obama’s use of a presidential “signing statement” on the recent stimulus law to curb protections for federal whistleblowers.

“I’m just telling you a president who said he was going to be the most transparent president, the most open president, ought to stick with it,” Mr. Grassley said. The signing statement was “completely contrary to what he said in the campaign.”

While saying he was open to working with the new president on key agenda items such as health care, the five-term conservative lawmaker directly attacked Mr. Obama on several fronts, from his handling of the economic crisis and relations with Congress to taking time to predict the winners of the national college basketball tournament live on national television.

“We should just be asking the president to not be a showman, to be [with “Tonight Show” host Jay] Leno or other things that detract from what he’s doing, like bracketing the NCAA game. Those are distractions,” he said.

Mr. Grassley said the higher taxes and deficits in Mr. Obama’s budget outline were making even some Democrats nervous, even before the Congressional Budget Office released sharply higher new deficit projections Friday.

“I heard some real nervousness even before Friday on the part of a lot of Democrats, and I bet you will really hear it in the House of Representatives with Blue Dog Democrats,” he said.

Mr. Grassley said it was likely that some of the Bush tax cuts will be allowed to expire and a plan to fund Mr. Obama’s energy cap-and-trade proposal will pass over Republican opposition. He said Mr. Obama would have a tougher time with his proposals to curb deductions on charitable giving and mortgage interest for higher-income taxpayers.

He also expressed doubts that the Senate tax-writing panel will pass Mr. Obama’s proposals to end oil and gas drilling tax breaks worth about $30 billion.

“I don’t think they’ll be removed,” he said.

The one element of the Obama tax proposal that should be considered, he said, was a plan to impose new excise taxes on offshore production in the Gulf of Mexico. The plan is designed to close loopholes that have given what the administration calls “excessive royalty relief” to oil producers.

On health care reform, Mr. Grassley said, “Health care is going to be a bipartisan issue. Increasing taxes to pay for it I don’t think is going to be bipartisan.”

Still, he said, “right now everything is on the table” as he and Mr. Baucus push for a bill that can pass the Senate Finance Committee in June and reach the Senate floor by July.

The schedule is “pretty ambitious, but if you don’t start out with that attitude, you’ll never get it done,” he said.

The lawmaker grew particularly agitated over Mr. Obama’s March 10 signing statement - after Mr. Obama severely criticized such statements under President Bush. Mr. Obama expressed reservations over a whistleblower protection provision that Mr. Grassley has long championed.

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