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Republicans Blast Obama Budget But Signal Willingness To Work With Democrats

02/16/2011 3:00 pm 0 comments

Source: Lori Montgomery and Shailagh Murray / The Washington Post

One day after President Obama submitted his budget request for fiscal 2012 to Capitol Hill, congressional Republicans assailed the document as too weak on spending. But they also signaled an openness to working with Democrats to solve the nation’s financial problems.

The mixed message reflects uncertainty among resurgent Republicans about how best to address the concerns of voters – and satisfy the demands of restless freshman members of their own party.

Some Republicans, particularly those in the House, want to force an immediate showdown with Democrats: GOP leaders have included sharp cuts to federal agencies in a must-pass spending measure that would keep the government open through September. Other Republicans, including many longtime senators, want to seize the moment to join Democrats in overhauling politically sensitive programs such as Social Security and Medicare, the biggest drivers of future spending.

The confusion was evident Tuesday in congressional budget hearings, where GOP lawmakers grilling White House budget director Jacob J. Lew veered between criticizing Obama as not addressing the looming crisis in entitlement programs and asking what they could do to help.

To read this article in its entirety visit The Washington Post.

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