President Barack Obama and Republican U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina set the tone for the debt ceiling debate next week during verbal jousts over the airwaves Saturday.
Obama’s and Ellmers’ radio addresses served as a precursor to the efforts to restart the heart of the talks next week about raising the federal debt ceiling to avert a government shutdown in August, The Christian Science Monitor
The jousting has been in process for weeks, but both sides knocked the issue off of its horse as they dug in their heels: Republicans refusing to back tax hikes, and the White House insisting that “millionaires and billionaires and special interests” should help cut the deficit.
Obama is scheduled to meet separately on Monday with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky to find some common ground to resume discussions.
Obama, whose address was recorded Friday during his trip to Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute in Pittsburgh, said: “I am committed to working with members of both parties to cut our deficits and debt,” adding, “We can’t simply cut our way to prosperity.”
|Rep. Renee Ellmers
Ellmers’ response for the GOP side criticized the Obama administration for wanting to raise taxes. Ellmers, who owns a small medical practice with her husband, accused the administration of wanting to "stay the course, keep spending money we don't have, and raise your taxes – all in the name of 'stimulus.'"
Meanwhile, she said, “The job creators we hear from, they don’t have their hand out. They don’t want a bailout. All they ask us to do is get government out of the way.”
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