GOP lawmaker calls for halt to federal 'spending spree'
House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, earlier this week declared that GOP proposals to limit federal spending could save taxpayers more than $340 billion, while the White House charged Republicans with clinging to failed economic policies that helped create the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
"If we reduce spending from current levels and impose a hard cap on future growth, we can save taxpayers more than $340 billion and we can make sure this is the last Washington spending spree of its kind," Boehner said in a speech to the City Club of Cleveland outlining broad economic policies of the Republican Party.
"To restore balance between the federal government and the public sector, Republicans have called for freezing both government pay and government hiring," he added. "Instead of growing big government, let's focus on growing small businesses."
Boehner also called for President Obama to fire his economic team. But he did not identify any specific programs that would be subjected to a spending freeze if Republicans win control of Congress in the upcoming elections.
The White House fired back at Boehner before he even gave his speech, claiming that Republican economic policies have not changed.
"While the rhetoric today may be new, the ideas remain the same: out-of-control deficits, decreased oversight of the big Wall Street banks that helped create the financial crisis and putting special interests first by maintaining tax loopholes for corporations that ship American jobs overseas," the White House said on its blog.
"Today, Ohioans will hear the Minority Leader's support for the same old failed economic policies that steered our economy into the ditch that we're just now beginning to climb out of," the White House added.
In response to questions after his speech, Boehner also said members of Congress should not pass laws that result in excessive regulations for businesses.
"I think the Congress has given up far too much of its power to the executive branch," he said. "When we look at why we're losing manufacturing jobs in America, it's because [of] high corporate tax rates -- we've got the second highest in the world -- and we've got more regulations on American businesses than any other country in the world, driving up the costs and making America less competitive."