When President Obama released his budget proposal last year, it included a small overture to Republicans – an offer to lower future cost-of-living increases for Social Security and other federal benefit programs by tying the adjustments to inflation.
Times change: In the budget he will propose next month, the president is scrapping the bargaining chip — the so-called Chained CPI – after Republicans would not budge on raising taxes.
“The president was willing to step forward and put on the table a concrete proposal. Unfortunately, Republicans refused to even consider the possibility of raising some revenue by closing some loopholes that benefit only the wealthy and the well-connected,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in the briefing Thursday.
“There was a point in time when there was a little bit more optimism about the willingness of Republicans to budge on closing some tax loopholes. But over the course of the last year, they’ve refused to do that,” Earnest said. “With this return to regular order in Congress, we’re seeing a return to regular order in terms of the president’s budget offering. But it does not reflect any reduction in the president’s willingness to try to meet Republicans in the middle and find a balanced way to reduce our deficit even further than we already have.”
Republicans balked at the president’s decision, saying he has no interest in addressing the country’s fiscal problems.
“This reaffirms what has become all too apparent: the president has no interest in doing anything, even modest, to address our looming debt crisis. The one and only idea the president has to offer is even more job-destroying tax hikes, and that non-starter won’t do anything to save the entitlement programs that are critical to so many Americans. With three years left in office, it seems the president is already throwing in the towel,” Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, said.
The budget will also reflect the spending levels that were agreed to in the Murray-Ryan budget deal last December.