President Obama on Saturday continued his election-year assault on the House GOP’s latest budget proposal, telling Americans the plan would “raise taxes on middle-class families with kids” and cut crucial programs while giving more handouts to the rich.
In his weekly address, Mr. Obama made his case — without explicitly saying so — why voters should elect more Democrats in this November’s midterm elections and contrasted the GOP plan with his party’s priorities.
“This week, the Republicans in Congress put forward a very different budget … it shrinks opportunity and makes it harder for Americans who work hard to get ahead,” the president said. “The Republican budget begins by handing out massive tax cuts to households making more than $1 million a year. Then, to keep from blowing a hole in the deficit, they’d have to raise taxes on middle-class families with kids.”
The GOP proposal, unveiled earlier this week by Rep. Paul Ryan, cuts about $5 trillion from projected deficits over the next 10 years and reaches balance by 2024. Mr. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican and chairman of the House Budget Committee, also proposed freezing revenues where they stand now and cutting spending in areas such as college loans, Medicaid and others.
He told reporters it’s time to “stop spending money we don’t have.”
While the plan almost surely will not become law — Senate Democrats have said they won’t try to pass a budget this year — Mr. Obama and his fellow Democrats plan to use it as an election-year tool.
The president began that effort on Wednesday, using a speech at the University of Michigan to blast the Republican budget just 24 hours after it was released.
Later the same day, the president pleaded with fellow Democrats not to go into “hibernation,” as his party sometimes does in non-presidential election years. He cited pieces of the GOP agenda as reasons why Democrats must remain motivated to retain control of the Senate and capture seats in the House.
But Republicans aren’t backing down from a fight on the economy, federal spending and job creation.
In the GOP weekly address, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina blasted Democrats for blocking his “SKILLS Act,” a bill that he argues would provide needed job training for the unemployed and underemployed while also consolidating duplicative federal job training programs.
“Instead of watching 4 million jobs sit empty, let’s make sure those who want to work are learning the skills they need to succeed. My SKILLS Act will do all of this,” Mr. Scott said. “Unfortunately, Senate Democrats, for some reason — I can only imagine a political reason — blocked its passage this week. Simply put, the American people deserve better than that.”