WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama succeeded in uniting his party and reminding Republicans who lives in the White House with his first major fiscal policy speech Wednesday—a step forward on an issue already setting off a partisan firestorm on Capitol Hill.
Obama outlined a plan to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over 12 years and said doing so will require a mix of tax hikes, drastic spending cuts and entitlement reforms. House Democrats hailed the president’s tough talk on refusing to extend tax cuts for wealthy, and several concurred that his tone constituted a veto threat in the event Republicans fight to preserve the Bush-era cuts.
“He drew a line in the sand today,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus. “I hope [Republicans] understand their ability to walk away from negotiations and say they won may have just ended.”