House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, the former Republican vice presidential nominee, took charge at a Capitol news conference this morning, bashing President Obama for failing to release a budget proposal on time while promoting his own plan to balance the budget in 10 years.
"The president hasn't even proposed a budget yet. The law requires that the president of the United States submit his budget on the first Monday in February, and he is missing in action," Ryan, R-Wis., said. "That is not leadership. That is ducking responsibility."
Obama's latest budget proposals have fallen flat in the divided Congress, last year losing a Senate vote 0-99 and 0-414 in the House. This year, the president is not expected to introduce his own budget proposal until early April.
Ryan flatly rejected Democratic critics who say Ryan's cuts, $4.6 trillion in the next decade, are too austere and would harm the country's fragile economic recovery. The goal of Ryan's budget is to balance the federal budget within ten years. It also proposes to repeal the president's health care law, simplify the tax code into two brackets, as well as cut Medicare and federal pensions.
"We are at least bringing our budgets to the floor, showing the American people how we would govern," Ryan said. "At least we're showing leadership. We would like to see some similar leadership come from other folks around town."
House Speaker John Boehner called on the president to embrace the GOP's goal to balance the annual budget deficit, which has hovered around $1 trillion the past few years, recalling the last time revenues exceeded spending during the Clinton administration.
"For American families, a balanced budget means more jobs. It means more opportunities. It means affordable energy, and it also means a more secure retirement," Boehner, R-Ohio, said. "We balanced the budget back in the mid-'90s, along with President Bill Clinton and out of that plan we actually did balance the budget, and it led to one of the healthiest economies we've had.
"President Obama should do likewise, work with the Republicans in Congress together to put forward a plan that will, in fact, balance the budget and help American families enjoy real prosperity and a much more secure retirement."
Although there are alternative proposals in the House, such as the Republican Study Committee proposal to balance the budget in four years, Boehner indicated that he prefers the Ryan Budget because it is "a responsible plan."
Barring any surprises, House Republicans will pass Ryan's budget proposal Wednesday.
Paul Ryan and the Budget Committee have taken a responsible path in terms of laying out our priorities," Boehner said. "Other people have other ideas, whether it's a black caucus, a progressive caucus, [or] the Republican Study Committee. They're going to have their chance to offer their ideas, but I'm confident that the only one that will get a majority of the votes will be the Ryan plan."