McConnell: Obama Budget Will ‘Double Debt in 5 Years’

By Jennifer Parker

Mar 15, 2009 10:33am

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the Republican Party doesn’t intend to offer a comprehensive alternative budget in the Senate. Instead, McConnell said, the GOP will offer numerous amendments to the administration’s budget plan.

"First let’s take a look at the budget the president is offering," McConnell said on "This Week" Sunday, "that’s his responsibility. The majority has a responsibility to lay out their plan, George, for the next few years and they’ve done it. It will double the national debt in five years and triple the national debt in ten years."

McConnell repeated what has become a familiar GOP refrain on the president’s budget: "It taxes too much, it spends too much, it borrows too much — what I have said and what my colleagues have said repeatedly."

"It does what the president’s chief of staff , he was pretty candid about it — they’re taking advantage of a crisis in order to do things that have nothing to do with getting us into the crisis in the first place," he said. "They want to have a massive expansion of health care, a[n] energy tax which many people are now calling a ‘light switch tax’ of another $600-billion dollars. It’s sort of bait and switch."

The Obama administration has maintained that revenue from a "cap-and-trade" plan would offset higher energy costs for many Americans.

But McConnell argued the government should be concentrating on fixing the financial system and the housing  problem, "but not using this crisis as an excuse to go on an explosion of spending."

I asked McConnell why the GOP isn’t going to offer a comprehensive alternative budget of their own.

"Well we’re just sort of getting down in the weeds here on procedure. Through the amendment process we would absolutely reformulate the Democratic plan. Whether you have a comprehensive approach or whether you offer an amendment approach is something that parliamentarians can debate. But the point is, we’re going to have alternatives," McConnell said. "We have offered alternatives all along the way and we will offer numerous alternatives on the budget when it comes up."

–George Stephanopoulos

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