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Roskam to Obama: Don’t let US become Illinois

Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013

* Daily Herald

The jovial nature of previous banter between two former General Assembly colleagues was gone Wednesday as House GOP Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam told President Barack Obama that Congress fears he’s leading the country to the same financial bankruptcy as the state they both hail from.

Roskam, of Wheaton, told the Daily Herald he tried to “teasingly translate” the “reluctance” heard in House Republicans’ voices in dealings with the White House during the closed-door meeting, where even a limited number of staff members were allowed to attend.

“When they hear the president talking about how he approaches the economy, they fear he’s leading in the same direction Illinois is now,” Roskam said he told the president during the meeting in the Capitol basement with 232 Republican members. “Pursuing revenues, not dealing with the underlying spending problems. Higher than average unemployment. What they hear is avoidance behavior.”

The meeting is part of the president’s aggressive outreach effort to Congress over the deficit, which has been nicknamed his “charm offensive.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

13 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 3:10 pm:

    Whatever. Congress — House and Senate, together, just like in the Constitution — can pass any budget they want anytime they feel like it. I think the last time was 1996.

    If those two chambers could ever get together on anything — except Continuing Resolutions and naming post offices — he might have a complaint.


  2. - Amalia - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 3:20 pm:

    Roskam…Dutch for buzzkill.


  3. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 3:25 pm:

    ==not dealing with the underlying spending problems.==

    President Obama offered spending cuts in 2011 when another “grand bargain” was in the works, and he’s offering them again. Who killed the first grand bargain? In the voice of SNL’s Church Lady, could it be the House GOP?

    ==Higher than average unemployment.==

    Will someone please remind Mr. Roskam that Obama is president of the U.S. and not just Illinois? Other states have better unemployment numbers. Plus, the unemployment rate could be lower if the public sector didn’t lose so many jobs.

    ==What they hear is avoidance behavior.”==

    What many voters hear is a GOP House that is extremist and unwilling to compromise in good faith. GOP polling numbers are abysmal. The GOP House would have never voted to raise taxes on top earners if the tax cuts didn’t expire and they would have been stuck with raising taxes on the middle class. Obama and Democrats are on the popular side of almost every issue.


  4. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 3:43 pm:

    I wouldn’t worry just yet, Rep. Roskam.

    When POTUS trots a cartoon snake out of the Oval, sound the alarm. Till then, get back to work.


  5. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 3:56 pm:

    Has the federal government been skipping putting pension money away?


  6. - Lefty Lefty - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 4:04 pm:

    Maybe he’ll let us know what he did to stop Edgar, Ryan, and Blago from shorting the pension fund contributions from 1998 on.

    And then he can take a macroeconomics class. The largest economy in human history is not, and never will be, Illinois in 2013. He either is dumb, lazy, or lying.


  7. - park - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 4:24 pm:

    When you’ve had back to back gov’s convicted, can’t control your spending, increase taxes significantly but still can’t pay your bills, and blame actions taken in the 1990’s instead of the guys who’ve run the state for 10 years, you’re going to become the bad example everyone’s going to use. Its really a shame, but collectively, we’ve got the government we voted for and therefore deserve.

    All that is true, but that’s still a cheap shot by my congressman.


  8. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 4:24 pm:

    === What they hear is avoidance behavior ===

    With all the time we have spent kibbitzing among ourselves on this very subject, it is kind of hard to fault Roskam on that one.

    If that is how he understands the perspective of those in the room with him, so be it.

    btw, do we have a pension deal yet? It’s only been an issue for, about, forever.

    Veto proof majority month 3. Come on ILGA. You can do it!


  9. - Just The Way It Is One - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 6:36 pm:

    Well, the “charm offensive” will reap some benefits–at least some GOP U.S. Reps. and Sens. can’t deny that the President is at least trying to reach out personally to communicate and listen. Those benefits for all of us out here in the Boondocks may be more so LONG-term, if they all can work at least SOME issues, such as Immigration reform and gun background checks (post-Newton, etc.) out over the next couple of years in the best overall interest of the Nation in an even SOMEwhat Bi-Partisan manner–now THAT would be incredibly refreshing for ALL Americans!

    But for the short-term, I’m not so sure Mr. Obama’s direct appeal/interaction will sway all that many Republican House votes re. the larger FIScal policies–as Congressman Roskam’s remarks seem to reflect–but for perhaps eking out just enough backing to poke through yet another Stop-gap Budget to get us by and therby avoiding yet another crisis of epic proportions….


  10. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 7:06 pm:

    The President of the United States is meeting with the House Minority for the first time since 2009.

    That’s a first for any president, and it is not a good first.


  11. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 13, 13 @ 7:40 pm:

    –The President of the United States is meeting with the House Minority for the first time since 2009.–

    Geez, dude, did you hit your head, really hard, on a rock, recently?

    The House Minority would be folks like Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer. I’m pretty sure the president has a little chin-wag with them every once in a while.

    He meets with Boehner and Cantor, who are in the majority, all the time. Ryan just the other day. It’s on the television. Adjust your antennae.

    What point are you trying to make, anyway, with these weirdo fantasies?


  12. - logic not emotion - Thursday, Mar 14, 13 @ 5:48 am:

    It sure seems to me that he’s taken chicago style politics national with like results.


  13. - titan - Thursday, Mar 14, 13 @ 8:53 am:

    @Grandson of Man - I don’t think anyone has offered spending cuts lately. There are differing discussions of slowing the rates of the spending increases, but the feds spend more money pretty much every year under pretty much everyones’ plans.


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