By Eliza Krigman
Adding more fuel to the fire in the spat between the GOP and Vice President Joe Biden, conservative lawmakers slammed Democrats' "runaway federal spending" in a conference call with reporters this morning.
"Evidently, nothing excites a liberal Democrat more than the pornography of excessive spending," said Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., who was "absolutely stunned to see Joe Biden's quote."
The vice president insisted on Tuesday that, "We're turning this around. Now, it's not happening as fast as any of us would like, and certainly not fast enough for the millions of folks who are still out of work. But there isn't any doubt -- we're moving in the right direction."
Echoing Lungren, House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence, R-Ind., said his constituents have a profound concern about bloated government spending. Pence, Lungren, and Rep. John Fleming, R-La., held the call to discuss August district work period activities. The concerns of their constituents, as they described them, mirrored GOP talking points.
"I'm hearing the same refrain: Where are the jobs, and when is the out-of-control government spending going to stop?" Fleming said. The stimulus has done nothing for the American people, he added, arguing that employers are afraid to hire because of market uncertainty created by the "awful health care bill" and the potential for the Bush tax cuts to expire.
"Uncertainty is the enemy of prosperity," said Pence, who also argued for not letting the tax cuts expire.
Since House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, called on President Obama to fire his top economic advisers in an incendiary speech Tuesday morning, Republicans and Democrats have been blasting one another in an attempt to blame the opposition for America's sour economic climate.
Biden accused Boehner's party of running the economy and the middle class into the ground in the eight years leading up to Obama's election. "All we know is what John Boehner and his Republican colleagues are against," Biden said in response to the minority leader's speech. "We still haven't heard what they're for."
Biden also stated that extending the Bush tax cuts would cost $700 billion over the next decade. Boehner pushed back, calling expiration a "tax hike" on 50 percent of small business income in America.
When asked about any specific policy proposals Republicans have to offer at the moment, Pence told reporters that "Republicans are involved in a vigorous effort to listen to the American people." He said to look at Boehner's speech and expect more details on the GOP agenda when lawmakers reconvene in September.