Obama spending may be a hard sell

U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the end of a press conference in the East Room of the White House

TEXT OF STORY

Bob Moon: Here's President Obama last night, answering critics on both sides of the aisle who are voicing concern about worse-than-feared deficits. He insisted spending and recovery are inseparable:

President Barack Obama: Here's what I do know. If we don't tackle energy, if we don't improve our education system, if we don't drive down the cost of health care, if we're not making serious investments in science and technology and our infrastructure, then we won't grow 2.6 percent, we won't grow 2.2 percent. We won't grow.

On this morning after the president's news conference, the question is: Did he persuade doubting Democrats? Tamara Keith reports Mr. Obama faces lingering skepticism as he lobbies for his budget on Capitol Hill today.


Tamara Keith: Budget committees in both the House and Senate are working through the president's proposals and making changes to get it all to balance out.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat, plans to leave out of the budget any new spending for the president's proposed health care expansion. And neither House nor Senate Democrats are directly including Obama's controversial cap-and-trade system for dealing with climate change in their budgets.

On the other side of the aisle, Republicans say the president's plan spends too much, borrows too much and taxes too much. GOP Congressman from Wisconsin Paul Ryan laid out the political realities this morning on CNBC:

Paul Ryan: I think the tax increases are going to happen. I'd like to think we can defeat cap-and-trade. They're still trying to run it through. And on health care, let's not have a government takeover of 17 percent of our economy.

In his mind, the final ingredients in the budget will depend on where moderate, so-called Blue Dog Democrats land on the issues.

In Washington, I'm Tamara Keith for Marketplace.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...