America

In Back-To-Back Speeches, Obama And Boehner Back Respective Plans

President Barack Obama speaks in a prime-time address to the nation. i i

President Barack Obama speaks in a prime-time address to the nation. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
President Barack Obama speaks in a prime-time address to the nation.

President Barack Obama speaks in a prime-time address to the nation.

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

With the full faith and credit of the United States on the line, President Obama and Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) made their case to the American people in prime-time addresses to the nation.

Obama endorsed the plan presented by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), but he also spent a great deal of his 15-minute speech talking about compromise.

Speaker of the House of Representative John Boehner poses for photographers at the Capitol in Washington after delivering his response to President Barack Obama's address. i i

Speaker of the House of Representative John Boehner poses for photographers at the Capitol in Washington after delivering his response to President Barack Obama's address. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
Speaker of the House of Representative John Boehner poses for photographers at the Capitol in Washington after delivering his response to President Barack Obama's address.

Speaker of the House of Representative John Boehner poses for photographers at the Capitol in Washington after delivering his response to President Barack Obama's address.

Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

"[The American people] are fed up with a town where compromise has become a dirty word," Obama said.

Boehner, who spoke two minutes after the president, dug in his heels. He said the president was asking for a "blank check" but Republicans were unwilling to give him one.

He said over the past couple of weeks, he has given his all to the negotiations, but "the president could not say yes."

Boehner rejected the president's notion that Congress is at a stalemate, saying the House had passed the "Cut, Cap and Balance" bill that, he said, puts the country on path to fiscal responsibility. And, said Boehner, the House will put the Republican proposal unveiled today for a vote in the House.

Obama gave credit to Boehner in his speech for being willing to take an approach that accepts both cuts and revenue increases. But, he said, a faction of the Republican party is insisting on a "cuts-only approach."

President Obama said Washington agrees on one thing and that's the amount of deficit deduction. The debate, he said, is about how it should be done.

To do it through cuts only, he said, is "not fair."

"Most Americans, regardless of political party, don't understand how we can ask a senior citizen to pay more for her Medicare before we ask corporate jet owners and oil companies to give up tax breaks that other companies don't get," said Obama. "How can we ask a student to pay more for college before we ask hedge fund managers to stop paying taxes at a lower rate than their secretaries?"

We live blogged both speeches as they happened. Our updates are below. Also make sure to check out It's All Politics, which will have analysis of the speeches.

Update at 9:45 p.m. ET. We've re-written the top of this post a bit to reflect the news.

Update at 9:23 p.m. ET. Smaller Government:

Boehner outlines the big picture, saying Republican's vision of government is one that is smaller not bigger. As he sees it, he says, big government means little people.

The solution is not complicated, says Boehner, we're spending more money than we are taking in. He said Republicans have a plan.

Update at 10:04 p.m. ET. Full Text Of Speeches:

The Washington Post's 2Chambers has posted full text of both speeches.

Update at 9:21 p.m. ET. Blank Check:

The president, said Boehner, wants a "blank check", now and wanted a blank check six months ago. Boehner said there is no "stalemate" in Congress. He says the house passed "Cut, Cap and Balance" bill and will pass the bill presented today.

Update at 9:20 p.m. ET. Boehner Speaks:

Boehner says he made a sincere effort to work with the president in a manner that could secure bipartisan support.

"The president could not say yes," Boehner said.

Update at 9:17 p.m. ET. Compromise A Dirty Word:

Backing up a bit, Obama made some broad strokes on the specific plans. But he spent lots of time speaking about compromise.

One quote that stands out: "[The American people] are fed up with a town where compromise has become a dirty word."

Update at 9:16 p.m. ET. The World Is Watching:

President Obama concludes his speech by saying that the entire world is watching.

"So let's seize this moment to show why the United States of America is still the greatest nation on Earth – not just because we can still keep our word and meet our obligations, but because we can still come together as one nation," he said.

Update at 9:13 p.m. ET. Make Your Voices Heard:

"The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn't vote for a dysfunctional government," Obama says. Then he asks the American to make their voices heard. If they want a deficit deal they should call their lawmakers, he says.

Update at 9:10 p.m. ET. Reckless And Irresponsible Outcome:

Defaulting, Obama says, would cause a "reckless and irresponsible outcome..." And Boehner's plan only "kicks the can down the road."

Not raising the debt ceiling is a risky game, he says.

"We can't allow the American people to become collateral damage to Washington's political warfare," he said.

Update at 9:08 p.m. ET. Quoting Ronald Reagan:

President Obama quotes Ronald Reagan, saying he advocated for a balanced approach.

He used this quote from Reagan: "Would you rather reduce deficits and interest rates by raising revenue from those who are not now paying their fair share, or would you rather accept larger budget deficits, higher interest rates, and higher unemployment? And I think I know your answer."

"Those words were spoken by Ronald Reagan," said Obama. "But today, many Republicans in the House refuse to consider this kind of balanced approach... So we are left with a stalemate."

Update at 9:05 p.m. ET. A Balanced Approach:

President Obama says the path to deficit reduction, should be balanced and it should include sacrifices from those in highest income brackets:

"Most Americans, regardless of political party, don't understand how we can ask a senior citizen to pay more for her Medicare before we ask corporate jet owners and oil companies to give up tax breaks that other companies don't get.

"How can we ask a student to pay more for college before we ask hedge fund managers to stop paying taxes at a lower rate than their secretaries? How can we slash funding for education and clean energy before we ask people like me to give up tax breaks we don't need and didn't ask for?"

Update at 9:02 p.m. ET. How We Got Here:

The president is now at a podium in the east room. He first gives a high level view of we got here. He mentions the wars and prescription program passed by republicans.

But, he says, "Because neither party is blameless, both parties have a responsibility," to fix it, he says.

Update at 9:01 p.m. ET. Where To Catch The Speech:

NPR will carry the president's address live. CSpan will too as well as cable news channels, will carry the address live.

Update at 8:48 p.m. ET. A Little Background On The Plans:

We blogged about the plans earlier, but in short, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) presented a two-step plan that would raise the debt ceiling until the end of the year, and then call for another vote to raise it for another year, while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) presented a plan that raises the debt ceiling and cuts $2.7 trillion over the next 10 years.

As expected, Boehner said Reid's plan was full of "gimmicks" and Reid said Boehner's two-step plan was a non-starter.

With a statement from Press Secretary Jay Carney, the White House threw its support behind Reid's plan.

"Senator Reid's plan is a reasonable approach that should receive the support of both parties," Carney said in the statement.

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