President Obama seemingly had House Republicans eating out of his hand late last week. The president journeyed to Baltimore for the House GOP retreat and fielded questions from skeptical Republicans in an extraordinary, televised session. He even conceded that Republicans had offered some productive ideas about the economy and budget and noted he had read and considered their proposals.
Then Mr. Obama dispatched his $3.8 billion budget plan for fiscal year 2011 to Capitol Hill Tuesday. And that seemingly dashed any goodwill and potential for bipartisanship that the president ginned up last week.
“I got the impression there would be a moderation in the fiscal agenda,” said Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the top Republican on the House Budget Committee. “We’re seeing an attempt to change the words. But not the policy.
Ryan was clearly flabbergasted at the budget Mr. Obama submitted to Congress. He described it as “astounding” and “jaw-dropping” and accused the administration of having an “insatiable appetite” for spending.
Other Republicans echoed Ryan.
“I was so encouraged last week,” said Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), also a member of the Budget panel. “And then all of that confidence disappeared yesterday.”