WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Barack Obama repeated his mantra about his budget: The challenges are too great for a timid response laced with partisan bickering.
"If (there are) certain aspects of this budget people don't think work, provide us some ideas in terms of what you do," Obama challenged. "'Just say no' is the right advice to give your teenagers about drugs. It is not an acceptable response to whatever economic policy is proposed by the other party."
The myriad of challenges facing the United States demand good ideas, "not more political tactics," Obama said, flanked by U.S. Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, and U.S. Rep. John Spratt, D-S.C., chairman of the House of Representatives Budget Committee. "So if there are members of Congress who object to specific policies and proposals in this budget, then I ask them to be ready and willing to propose constructive, alternative solutions."
Obama said he hoped the budget, when it is officially submitted in a few weeks, would generate a healthy, non-partisan debate.
The budget invests in healthcare, education and clean energy technology "that will lead to real growth and real prosperity," the president said.
To those who say the budget is too ambitious and should focus more on an issue such as the banking crisis, Obama responded, "What I say is that the challenges we face are too large to ignore."
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