GOP dissect State of the Union, session
Published: Jan. 29, 2012 at 2:50 PM
WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Republicans and Democrats agree on extending the U.S. payroll tax holiday but disagree on how to pay for it, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday.
McConnell said on CNN's "State of the Union" his "good friends on the Democratic side don't want to pay for anything."
When reminded that Democrats would pay for the extension by taxing the rich, McConnell said, "That's what made it problematic."
But McConnell said a deal would be struck by the end of February, when the temporary extension expires, but declined to discuss specifics because "it hasn't been negotiated" by a Senate-House conference committee.
House Speaker John Boehner, on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," also said he expected a U.S. House-Senate conference committee will resolve the payroll tax cut extension quickly.
Turning to the State of the Union address, Boehner said President Obama spoke of "an awful lot of good ideas" Tuesday, but noted that the House passed 30 bills he said would jump-start the U.S. economy and "27 of them are sitting over in the United States Senate" controlled by the Democrats.
Boehner avoided directly responding to criticism from Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., who said the House should stop passing bills it knows have not chance of getting through the Senate.
"Well, we have a bicameral system," Boehner said. "You know, we have the House of Representatives, 435 members from all 50 states. You've got the United States Senate. We can't control what the Senate does or doesn't do."
When pressed about whether House leaders coordinate with the Senate before passing bills to ensure they can be brought to a vote in the upper chamber, Boehner said, "How do you know you're going to -- you have 60 votes or you don't have 60 votes in the Senate unless the House does its job and moves this bill over there?"
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., chairman of the House Budget Committee, told "Fox News Sunday" Obama's argument of Democrats looking out for the middle class in his State of the Union address didn't jive with his policies.
"The irony of this is the president's policies do the exact opposite," Ryan said. "We basically got this: The president can't run on his record. It's a miserable record. He's not going to change his tune and moderate. ... So, he has no choice but to divide."
Ryan predicted Obama would run "a very divisive campaign for political gain" and will hand the country a "future of debt, doubt and decline."
Ryan said the country wasn't getting the kind of leadership it needs, "so, what we need is a new president and a new Senate, and we need to give the country a very specific plan, a set of ideas of how we're going to solve these problems and let the country choose in November what they want America to become. And we're going to do that."
Obama "isn't leading … [and] isn't being truthful" with the public about "what kind of fiscal train wreck is coming we are going to be."
In Congress, he said, bipartisanship was starting to emerge on issues such as tax reform and Medicare reform, so "what we clearly need is a new White House and a new Senate and then we can realize this emerging bipartisan consensus on how to fix these problems."
He said he and his committee would write a budget proposal in March after receiving information from the Congressional Budget Office.
The budget proposal will be brought to the House floor because "[we] think we owe the country actual solutions based upon our founding principles to get this country on the right track."