ROBERT SMITH, host:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Smith. The economy hasn't capsized, but it's taking on serious water. Yesterday, we learned that the gross domestic product sank to a level far deeper than initially estimated. That, a day after President Obama floated his $3.6-trillion budget proposal. Republicans say they want to torpedo it.
Today, as NPR's Allison Keyes reports, the President sounded ready for that fight.
ALLISON KEYES: You could almost hear the President figuratively lacing up his boxing gloves when he delivered his weekly address.
President BARACK OBAMA: I know these steps won't sit well with the special interests and lobbyists who are invested in the old ways of doing business, and I know they're gearing up for a fight as we speak. My message to them is this: So am I.
KEYES: The President directly challenged what he calls the powerful and well-connected interests that have run Washington for what he says is far too long.
President OBAMA: I didn't come here to do the same thing we've been doing or take small steps forward. I came to provide the sweeping change that this country demanded when it went to the polls in November.
KEYES: But Republicans aren't backing down, either. In their address today, North Carolina Senator Richard Burr stuck to the script that many in the party have followed.
Senator RICHARD BURR (Republican, North Carolina): Every time Congress and the President spends a dollar, it's actually a dollar plus interest that our children and grandchildren will have to pay back.
KEYES: Burr and other Republicans are calling on the President to restrain spending, make tough choices, and put the nation's fiscal house in order.
Sen. BURR: Generations of Americans past have often been called on to make great sacrifices for their country. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice. Is it not time for the government to make sacrifices for future generations?
KEYES: The President has faced criticism from both parties. Some Democrats don't like a provision to cut direct payments to farms with sales over $250,000 a year, and Republicans, along with a few Democrats, don't want Mr. Obama to end tax cuts for the wealthy. In what may prove to be the understatement of the year, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said yesterday there isn't any doubt that this budget's going to be tough to pass. Allison Keyes, NPR News, Washington.
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