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GOP Whip: On budgeting, Obama’s a minor-league president

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., suggested that President Obama is “incompetent” in regards to following the laws that encourage fiscal responsibility, as McCarthy pushed for Washington Democrats to fulfill their legal obligation to set and pass a budget.

The law requires the president to submit a budget by the first Monday of February. “He’s missed the deadline four of the five times,” the third-highest ranking House Republican said today.  “If any of you are baseball fans, that’s batting a 200 average. If you’re a big baseball fan, you know that he’s at the Mendoza line. The Mendoza line is about Mario Mendoza. It’s the line that you talk for a major league baseball player if they become incompetent.”

House Republicans are considering a bill to require Obama to propose a budget that would, at some point, balance. “We will continue to pressure the Senate and the White House to thoughtfully examine and solve the enormous fiscal challenges facing our nation – not ignore them – so that we may protect the American Dream for generations to come,” Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., said in a statement introducing the bill (which, in all likelihood, will face disapproval in that Senate).

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was nonplussed by Republican criticisms of his boss’s failure to meet budget deadlines.

“I don’t have an update on the President’s budget,” Carney said yesterday.  “I mean, I saw a tweet from the Speaker’s office.  The President has put forward consistently budgets that achieve what the American people overwhelmingly support, which is balanced deficit reduction, deficit reduction combined with investments in areas of our economy that would help the economy grow and create jobs.”

He refused to say when Obama would submit a budget. “I don’t have anything more for you on it,” Carney added when asked why Obama struggles to meet the legal deadline.  “The President — there’s a couple of things to be aware of here that might encourage you to focus on substance over deadlines and things like that.”

Senate Republicans are preparing for a budget fight during the nomination hearing for Jack Lew, the White House chief of staff and Obama’s nominee to replace Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

“Jack Lew must never be Treasury Secretary,” Sessions, the Ranking Republican on the Budget Committee, said in a statement. “As director of the Office of Management and Budget, he submitted to Congress two spend-and-debt budget plans which not only received zero votes but which would have threatened the financial future of the Republic.”

 

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