News / USA

White House, Republicans Battle Over Economy

Multimedia

Audio

As President Barack Obama continues his summer vacation in Martha's Vineyard in the state of Massachusetts, the White House faced off with minority Republicans over remarks on Tuesday by a key Republican lawmaker criticizing the president's handling of the economy.

In substance, the remarks Republican Representative John Boehner delivered in Cleveland, Ohio were not much different from those he has made in recent months.

For months Boehner, the House of Representatives minority leader, and others in his party, have complained about Obama administration deficit spending, and the president's plan to allow tax cuts for wealthier Americans approved under former Republican President George W. Bush to expire.

There was more of that from Mr. Boehner on Tuesday.  The difference is that he is now actively campaigning to be speaker of the House of Representatives, should Republicans take control of the House from Democrats in the November mid-term congressional elections.

Boehner called for the resignation of key members of the president's economic team, and said the November elections will be a referendum on Mr. Obama's policies.

"President Obama should ask for, and accept, the resignations of the remaining members of his economic team, starting with Secretary Geithner and Larry Summers, the head of the National Economic Council," he said. "Now, this is no substitute for a referendum on the president's job-killing agenda.  That question will be put before the American people in due time.  But we do not have the luxury of waiting months for the president to pick scapegoats for his failing 'stimulus' policies."

Boehner's remarks also included a blunt personal attack on the president.  Americans, he said, could not afford "another 19 months of government-as-community organizer," a reference to one of Mr. Obama's pre-White House political career roles.

Hitting back,  Obama communications director Dan Pfeiffer accused the House minority leader of advocating "the same old failed economic policies that steered our economy into the ditch."

In Martha's Vineyard, where the president is vacationing, White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton had this response.

"Boehner would fire the very people who helped to make the tough decisions, who helped to do the hard work, to get our economy moving in the right direction again," he said.

Aside from familiar attacks on the president's economic policies, Boehner's speech included a dose of the kind of anti-Washington rhetoric that has substantial appeal with voters.

Referring to what he called a "tired, bloated, and broken Washington," Boehner outlined what he would do if Republicans win control of the House and he were to become speaker.

"I would run the House differently.  And I don't just mean differently than the way Democrats are running it today," he said. "I mean differently than both Democrats or Republicans in the past. That means challenging the old ways in Washington, getting to the bottom of what drives people crazy, and then trying to fix it once and for all."

Boehner provided no specifics of how he would go about changing the political atmosphere in Washington, something that Mr. Obama said he wanted to work toward at the start of his presidency.

In other administration response, Vice President Joe Biden asserted that in the November congressional elections, Americans will reject Republican policies that he said had driven the economy and middle class into the ground.

"Let me tell you, there are millions upon millions of Americans who saw their savings, their paychecks, shrink, lost their jobs, their homes," he said. "Mr. Boehner is nostalgic for those good old days.  But the American people are not.  They don't want to go back.  They want to move forward."

Biden's remarks are in essence, the game plan that President Obama, others in his administration, and congressional Democrats will pursue in the weeks before the November election.

With the president's job approval ratings dropping as low as 41 percent in one recent poll, Democrats will more intensively portray Republicans as advocating reckless policies that might reverse economic gains achieved so far under Mr. Obama, however fragile those may be.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs