Speaker Irritated By Lack of Leadership in President's Budget Proposal

ABC News’ John R. Parkinson reports:

Speaker of the House John Boehner today said he is irritated by President Obama’s new budget proposal, telling reporters that the president’s plan would damage the country’s efforts to create jobs while criticizing the president for failing to lead on a solution to the country’s entitlement predicament.

“We saw the president’s budget yesterday and it’s pretty clear that it spends too much, borrows too much and taxes too much, but the most irritating part to me – actually there’s two parts – is that this will continue to hurt job creation in America,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “The other thing that is of concern to me about the president’s budget is that when it comes to the real issues facing our country, he just punted. You know the president has a responsibility to lead as well.”

Boehner said that House Republicans are offering serious ideas to cut spending, beginning with H.R. 1, a spending bill coming to the House floor today that Boehner says would cut $100 billion by the end of September.

“We’re going to move today to cut $100 billion out of this year’s spending that’s left. You’ll see us move to deal with other types of spending in the mandated spending area, and you’ll see our budget committee begin to come to work to do their job to deal with the big issues that are facing our country,” Boehner said. “Republicans will not punt. Everything’s on the table and we will put forward a budget that deals with the big challenges that face our country.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor called out House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., for failing “to even begin to offer a coherent vision forward.”

Cantor says House Republicans will make reforms and further cuts in their FY 2012 budget, which is expected to be completed by early April.

“We will be proceeding under the budget committee’s leadership under Paul Ryan in crafting a budget that does speak to the situation that we have in this country of a fiscal house out of order,” Cantor, R-Va., said. “We will be specific about bold reforms unlike any of the Democrats here on Capitol Hill or certainly that which is in the president’s budget.”

Boehner also brushed aside any concern over potential job losses resulting from the GOP’s $100 billion cuts, citing the expansion of the federal government over the past two years under Democratic rule.

“Over the last two years since President Obama has taken office, the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs and if some of those jobs are lost in this, so be it. We’re broke!” Boehner exclaimed. “It’s time for us to get serious about how we’re spending the nation’s money.”

“The biggest danger to our country is if we do not act,” Boehner added. “The status quo is shackling the future for our kids and grandkids – that’s why we have to act, and I believe that we can act in a responsible way to make sure that those entitlement programs that we have are sustainable for our parents and theirs and affordable for our kids and [our] grandkids.”

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