- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

President Obama ridiculed congressional Republicans on Wednesday as ignoring the needs of middle-class families and said the GOP should offer their own ideas to pay for his new spending proposals from his State of the Union address.

At a campaign-style rally at Boise State University in Idaho, the president said Republicans shouldn’t turn their backs on his proposals to fund universal community-college tuition, expanded child-care tax credits and increased infrastructure spending.

“You can’t pretend there’s nothing we can do to help middle-class families get ahead,” Mr. Obama said of Republicans. “I’m willing to start a conversation. Tell me how to get to ‘yes.’ Work with me. C’mon. Don’t just say ‘no.’ You can’t just say ‘no.’”

Republican leaders say they oppose Mr. Obama’s plan to raise about $320 billion over 10 years by raising capital-gains taxes and closing tax loopholes primarily used by wealthier families and corporations.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, noted Wednesday that the House approved an infrastructure bill to streamline permitting for natural-gas pipelines, a measure that the president opposes.

“He has already threatened to veto this bill that would help deliver affordable energy across America,” Mr. McCarthy said, calling the legislation a “strong and straightforward bill [that] improves energy infrastructure, meaning lower energy costs and more jobs.”

“With bipartisan legislation like this, the president should set his sights higher than the veto pen,” he said

Cory Fritz, an aide to Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio, said Mr. Obama “just isn’t living in reality.”

“Republicans are saying ‘yes’ to good, common-sense jobs bills, and they’ll soon be sitting on the president’s desk,” Mr. Fritz said.

Mr. Obama’s appearance at Boise State drew a crowd of about 6,600, which cheered his proposals for government-paid tuition and expanded tax credits for college students.

The president also poked fun at Republican lawmakers for what he said was their antagonistic behavior as he outlined his spending proposals during the State of the Union address.

“Some of you may have noticed that Republicans were not applauding for many of these ideas,” Mr. Obama said. “They were kind of quiet. I know there are Republicans who disagree with my approach. I could see that from their body language.”

He said their battle is often over how to pay for various proposals. And the president said ending tax breaks for the wealthy is the fairest solution.

“You’ve got the super-rich getting giveaways they don’t need and middle class families not getting the breaks that they do need,” Mr. Obama said. “Let’s have a tax code that truly helps working Americans, the vast majority of Americans, get a leg up in this new economy.”

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