In anticipation of next Tuesday’s State of the Union address, conservatives are asking the president to talk about budget cuts and spending freezes for abortion providers, among other things.
While there has been no mention from White House officials regarding what issues President Obama will address, Tom McClusky, vice president for government affairs at Family Research Council, is urging the president to tighten the government’s spending belt.
“The American people are tightening their belts, but they’re looking to the government,” McClusky said, and the government is not doing the same.
The president, he opined, needs to make Bush-era tax cuts permanent for Americans and businesses, and cut government spending to close the deficit.
Congress extended tax cuts last month at the urging of President Obama. However, temporarily extending tax cuts is not enough for businesses looking to hire employees and expand, said McClusky.
“That’s not how businesses plan,” he stated. Businesses need the assurance of long-term tax cuts in order to grow, he explained.
McClusky said Congress can make up lost revenue by cutting abortion funding. “Follow [Republican New Jersey Governor] Chris Christies’ example,” he urged.
Christie vetoed state legislation providing state funds to abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood. “It didn’t hurt their bottom line,” McClusky observed. He noted that Planned Parenthood has made news in New Jersey, announcing it will double the clinics in the state from three to six by 2013.
House Republicans have already started the process of eliminating government spending that would lead to monetary gains for Planned Parenthood. It approved this week a repeal bill of the healthcare reform law and is working to pass a bill freezing Title 10 grants to family planning groups that offer abortion.
McClusky said it’s up to the president to urge the Senate to approve these bills. However, he doesn’t trust that Obama will fulfill his offer to compromise.
“He has spent all of his capital on compromise on abortion in healthcare,” said the government affairs expert, referring to Obama’s executive order that reaffirmed restrictions in the federal funding of abortions.
McClusky lamented that the executive order can easily be overturned in court or by Obama himself.
Similarly, Concerned Women for America President Wendy Wright said Obama has lost the trust of the American people. She said that Americans are unhappy with the change Obama promised in 2008, and sent him that message in the last election.
“Clearly, Americans have rejected his [version of] America,” proclaimed Wright.
Wright said the public has clear expectations for the president’s address.
“They want to hear that he will cut government spending, stop big government regulations, accept American exceptionalism and stop abortion funding,” she stated.
Wright said the speech is a pivotal moment as to whether Obama got the message of 2010’s “shellacking” and has learned from it.
“I think that people will be looking to see if he heard the message of the last election. Whether he learned the lesson remains to be seen through the next year,” she remarked.
The White House is already preparing to hear from voters for the Jan. 25 State of the Union address. A panel of White House officials has been assembled to collect and answer questions following Obama’s address.
The president will also be answering questions following his address via YouTube.