Republicans are vowing to fight President Barack Obama's fiscal 2016 budget that was unveiled Monday in the nation's capital.
The budget, which tips the financial scales at $4 trillion,
contains tax raises on wealthy Americans and financial institutions. Those tax raises are intended to boost middle-class Americans by leaving more money in their pockets.
Republicans aren't buying it.
"At a time when Americans are still struggling to get by, this budget would add on even more costs and taxes," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California said, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Looming deadlines, however, could keep the GOP's budget fight short.
The Department of Homeland Security, for example, needs to be re-funded by the end of February, while the nation's debt limit has to be reinstated by the middle of March. The Journal reports that the Congressional Budget Office can stay below the debt limit until this fall, however.
One of the main points of content Republicans have with the budget is the $320 billion tax package
that Obama introduced a few weeks ago.
Other parts of the budget
include tax cuts that would benefit households with two wage earners, families with young children in child care, and those with older children in college. One proposal would automatically enroll workers in individual retirement accounts, unless they opt out. Another would extend the Earned Income Tax Credit to low-wage workers without children.
"A $4 trillion government spending spree propped up by massive new tax hikes, this budget blueprint shamelessly panders to the Democratic base and does nothing to put our nation back on a sound fiscal footing," Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch of Utah said, according to the Journal.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, told the Associated Press Obama needs to change if he expects members of the GOP to work with him.
"I want to work with this administration, and I hope that we can find common ground," Ryan said. "But the president has to demonstrate that he's interested in governing, not just posturing."
Obama defended his budget and challenged Republicans to come up with a better way to get the country back on a strong financial path.
"I know there are Republicans who disagree with my approach. And I've said this before: If they have other ideas for how we can keep America safe, grow our economy, while helping middle-class families feel some sense of economic security, I welcome their ideas," Obama said in remarks made from the headquarters of the Department of Homeland Security.
"But their numbers have to add up. And what we can't do is play politics with folks' economic security, or with our national security."
House Speaker John Boehner countered by saying Obama's budget is like "Groundhog Day."
"Today President Obama laid out a plan for more taxes, more spending, and more of the Washington gridlock that has failed middle-class families. It may be Groundhog Day, but the American people can't afford a repeat of the same old top-down policies of the past," Boehner said in a statement.
"Like the president's previous budgets, this plan never balances — ever. It contains no solutions to address the drivers of our debt, and no plan to fix our entire tax code to help foster growth and create jobs. Worse yet, President Obama would impose new taxes and more spending without a responsible plan to honestly address the big challenges facing our country."
Boehner added that the GOP is working on a budget that he says "will balance, and it will help promote job creation and higher wages, not more government bureaucracy."
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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