It's no surprise Republicans oppose Obama's signature priorities in the budget -- shoring up the
But as both parties try to appeal to middle America heading into the fall midterm elections, each is seeking arguments focused on the pocketbook issues that continue to worry many Americans in the sputtering economy.
Obama's ideas for raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and extending unemployment benefits for long-term jobless have already run into dead-ends in
Added to that list Tuesday were the president's proposals for expanding tax breaks for the working poor, the
"We should be reforming this flawed approach to helping low-income workers, not expanding it," Rubio said.
He called Obama's budget "another disappointment," in large part because it fails to address long-term safety net spending and bring the nation's revenue and spending into balance.
"This budget isn't a serious document; it's a campaign brochure," Ryan said.
House Republicans have promised to respond with their own 2015 budget proposal, even though their document, and the president's, are largely theoretical exercises this year.
Thanks to a budget accord reached in December between Ryan and Sen.
Ryan's budget is expected to revisit his ideas for cutting Medicaid and
Ryan is also expected to propose lower income and corporate tax rates, as he has in the past. But he is unlikely to attach a sweeping tax overhaul proposed by his GOP colleague, Rep.
"In the coming weeks, Republicans will produce a responsible budget that balances, promotes opportunity, reforms our tax code, saves our critical safety net programs, and places a priority on creating jobs, not more government," said House Speaker
What remains unclear, though, is if the speaker will be able to rally his often rebellious majority to actually pass any GOP alternative.