Entries in Repubicans (6)


Obama, GOP Clash over Student Loans

JupiterImages/Comstock Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama on Thursday demanded that lawmakers act to prevent interest rates on student loans from doubling on July 1, saying it was “mind-boggling” that the stalemate has lasted this long.

“This should be a no-brainer.  It should not be difficult.  It should have gotten done weeks ago,” the president told students, parents and educators at the White House.  “There’s still 10 days for Congress to do the right thing.  I understand that members of both parties say they want to get this done and there are conversations taking place, but they haven’t done it yet.  And we’ve got to keep the pressure on.”

Both Republicans and Democrats believe the subsidized Stafford loan rates should not be doubled from the current 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent and agree the current rates should be extended for at least another year.  But the sides cannot agree to how to pay for the $6 billion bill.

Democrats propose raising the Medicare and Social Security payroll taxes on high-earning stockholders of some privately owned companies.  Republicans oppose the measure.

Republicans propose getting rid of a preventative health fund that was created in the health care bill.  Democrats oppose that and the proposal has no chance of getting though a Democratically-controlled Senate.

On Thursday, the president accused Republicans of stalling.

“Congress has had the time to fix this for months.  That’s part of the reason why everybody here looks impatient,” Obama said to laughter from the audience in the East Room.  “This issue didn’t come out of nowhere.  It’s been looming for months.  But we’ve been stuck watching Congress play chicken with another deadline.”

Republicans, however, claim they have been trying to solve the issue but that the president prefers to play politics.

“This is just another sad example of his election-year strategy of deflection and distraction,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on Thursday.

The Senate has failed at passing both Democratic and Republican proposals.  The House of Representatives has passed its plan, but the Democratically-controlled Senate has not taken it up, and it wouldn’t stand a chance of passing the Senate.

GOP leaders outlined their proposals to pay for the bill’s estimated $6 billion price tag earlier this month based on savings the president included in his budget plan, but say the White House never responded.

“We’ve reached out to the president,” McConnell said.  “We’ve proposed multiple good-faith solutions.  The only reason this issue isn’t already resolved -- the only reason -- is that the president wants to keep it alive.  He thinks it benefits him politically for college students to believe we’re the problem.  It’s time to stop the games.  It’s time for the president to act.”

Senate Majority Leader Reid, D-Nev., on Thursday said while Congress is “not there yet,” he’s confident that they’re down the right road on the bill and can make progress before the July 1 deadline.  He insisted that over the last two days there have been meetings that have given him this hope.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


GOP Address: Sen. Johnson, Republicans Dispappointed by Obama's Economic Policies

US Senate(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin delivers this week's Republican address, marking this week's Senate vote of 99-0 against a budget amendment represented as President Obama's budget request.  

With a background in private sector accounting and manufacturing, Johnson says that he is used to "getting things done ... producing results."

"But that's not what's happening in the United States Senate," the senator says in the address.

Sen. Johnson lays in to Senate Democrats placing blame on the lawmakers for the Senate's failure to pass a budget in three years.

"Even though families and most businesses produce budgets to help control their finances, the largest financial entity in the world is operating without one," he says. "Why? Because Democrats in the Senate refuse to be held accountable.  They either don't have a plan, or they simply do no want their fingerprints on one."

But, he says, "Republicans have proven that we are willing to be held accountable.  Since regaining a majority in the House, Republicans have fulfilled our responsibility every year by passing a budget."  

Johnson says that despite House GOP's efforts to pass a budget, those attempts have died in the Democratic-controlled Senate. He further points out that the president's budget has failed repeatedly in both the Senate and House.

"This is a stunning repudiation of his leadership. At a time when America requires sober financial management, President Obama's fiscal plans have been so unserious, that not a single member of his own party supported them with their vote," Johnson says.

ABC News' Jake Tapper reported earlier this week, however, that the most recent "versions" of the president's budget, rejected in the House and Senate have been called Republican "gimmicks" and stunts by White House officials.

The budget amendment, introduced by Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Miss., and voted down 99-0 in the Senate, proposed many of the same topline numbers, but offered no specifics and appeared to be heavily condensed at just 56 pages long. In fact, the Senate Budget Committee's top Democrat explained his party's inability to support this week's rejected proposal.

"This is the president's budget," Sen. Kent Conrad, D-S.D., said referring to the much larger budget proposal offered by President Obama. "This is what Sen. Sessions has presented as being the president's budget," referring to the slimmer 56-page document, voted down in the Senate.

"I think it's readily apparent there is a big difference between the President's budget, which I hold in my hands, and what Sen. Sessions has presented as being the president's budget. This is not the president's budget. So, of course, we're not going to support it. It's not what the president proposed," Conrad said.

Still, Johnson says that without a budget, America's fiscal house is in "total disarray," for which President Obama "offers no solutions."

"If you're concerned about the financial future of America, these are not encouraging results," he says.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Newt Gingrich Says He’s In Until Romney Reaches 1,144

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(WILMINGTON, N.C.) -- Spring allergies took their toll on Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. In a scratchy, barely recognizable voice, he told a North Carolina crowd he expected to do well in that state and set a “new tone” for the Arkansas, Texas and California primaries.

Gingrich said he slept 13 hours on Tuesday but still couldn’t shake his illness. Another thing annoying Gingrich, possibly even more than a stuffy nose, is the talk among pundits that he is dropping out of the race soon.

“Until [Romney] becomes the nominee, I’m staying in the race. And in order to be the nominee, he has to get 1,144 uncontested delegates. He has not done that yet,” Gingrich said.

At a news conference, a reporter said to Gingrich, “Clearly you have no intention of getting out of the race,” to which Gingrich interrupted, “I want to commend you for being the first reporter to state the obvious.”

Gingrich said he, Romney and Santorum said they would support the eventual nominee. He didn’t believe the words of their past would come back to haunt them in the general election.

“It doesn’t matter because they just make stuff up anyway,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich told ABC News he is still in the race to win the nomination, not just to take away delegates from Romney.

“I’m trying to get to an open convention to see what would happen,” he said. “I mean, I’m not going to beat Romney head to head, but it’s conceivable that between Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and me, we’ll have enough delegates to have an open convention, and if we have an open convention, the truth is, nobody knows what would happen.”

Gingrich has only won the majority of votes in South Carolina and his home state of Georgia, and gathered a total 135 delegates, compared to Santorum’s overall count of 278 and Romney’s 655.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mitt Romney Sweeps, Pegs President Obama as Out of Touch

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(MILWAUKEE) -- After sweeping wins in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, D.C.’s primaries, Mitt Romney took to the stage Tuesday to deliver a pounding critique of President Obama, fully ignoring his GOP rivals and instead painting the president as “out of touch.”

“It’s enough to make you think that years of flying around on Air Force One, surrounded by an adoring staff of True Believers telling you that you’re great and you’re doing a great job, it’s enough to make you think that you might become a little out of touch with that, and that’s what’s happened,” Romney said of the president.

Romney skipped the perfunctory congratulations to his fellow GOP candidates. In fact, over the past few days of campaigning in Wisconsin, Romney has steered clear of mentioning his primary competitors, signaling a shift to the general election. Romney went straight after Obama Tuesday evening, saying another four years of his administration would ensure a “government-centered society.”

“This campaign is going to deal with many complicated issues but there’s a basic choice we’re going to face,” Romney said in the ballroom of an event space known as the Grain Exchange in downtown Milwaukee. “The president has pledged to transform America and he spent the last four years laying the groundwork for a government-centered society. I will spend the next four years rebuilding the foundation of an opportunity society led by free people and free enterprise.”

Romney looked ahead to the next set of primaries, the April 24 contests in five states in the Northeast.

“Tonight, I’m asking the good people of Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island, Delaware and Connecticut to join me,” he said. “Join me in the next step toward that destination of Nov. 6, when across America we can give a sigh of relief and know that the promise of America has been kept.”

Romney, who for the first time on a primary night appeared on stage without any of his family members, was accompanied by Rep. Paul Ryan, who endorsed Romney late last week and buoyed the candidate during his tour of the Badger State.

Stuart Stevens, a senior strategist for Romney’s campaign, waved off rumors that Ryan may have been “auditioning” for the vice presidential slot, saying he’s “terrific” but declined to speculate on any potential role for Ryan in the campaign going forward.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mitt Romney Is Projected Winner in Michigan

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.) -- After topping the Republican primary in Arizona, according to ABC projections, Mitt Romney is projected to win in his home state of Michigan. Romney and Rick Santorum had been locked in a tight race for  the state as polls closed and results began to roll in.  

On the eve of the Michigan primary, some Democrats planned to tip the vote in Santorum's favor by voting in the state's open system for the right-wing candidate. With nearly every poll putting Romney and Santorum even, Democrats hoped that just a few thousand votes would crown Santorum the winner.  Exit polls found that one in 10 Michigan voters said they were Democrats.

Romney has already claimed victories in New Hampshire, Florida, Nevada, Maine and Arizona.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rep. Cuellar: GOP Can Find ‘Common Ground’ with Dems to ‘Modify’ Health Care Law

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Republicans took control of the House Wednesday with a vow to take down President Obama’s health care law, with an initial vote moving toward repeal to take place on Friday.

But once that effort fails -- and it will almost certainly never get taken up by the Senate to even force the president to wield his veto pen -- GOP leaders may find some allies in moderate Democrats who are willing to re-craft major portions of the law.

In an ABC News interview Wednesday, Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, a moderate Blue Dog Democrat who is a member of his party’s leadership in the House, said many Democrats are open to an attempt to “fine-tune the legislation,” and to tackle health care lawsuit abuse among other issues.

“I’ll be the first one to say we ought to modify the bill, the legislation,” Cuellar said. “But just to repeal and then think about what we’re going to come up with -- I don’t think that’s the right approach that the majority is taking.”

He added, “To modify the legislation I think you find a lot of common ground, without a doubt. For example, remember, keep in mind -- what passed was the Senate bill, not the House bill. There was no conference committee. I had some things for example that I had in the House Bill—tort reform, some of the language, duplicative programs—it passed the House, but never got to the Senate, it never got over here.”

“There are areas that we can find common ground. But just to repeal and then start all over again -- if you talk about creating uncertainty, that will create uncertainty.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio