President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech had many of the ingredients needed to appeal to newly empowered congressional Republicans, including a call for a five-year spending freeze and ban on earmarks. But his overtures to the GOP often fell flat, with Republican lawmakers declaring that far more drastic measures are needed to reduce federal spending and make a dent in the nation’s $1.3 trillion deficit.
Rep. Paul Ryan, a rising star in the party and a staunch fiscal conservative, warned that the nation’s future prosperity will be at risk if serious steps are not taken to decrease government spending — not just freeze it.
“No sales job by the president about newfound fiscal conservatism is going to fool the American people, who know all too well what Obama has stood for over the past two years,” the National Republican Congressional Committee declared.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, was unenthusiastic about Obama’s spending freeze proposal.
“At a time when the Treasury Secretary is begging Congress to raise the debt limit, a freeze is simply inadequate,” Boehner said.