“They’ll squander the golden opportunity we have right now to tackle the biggest problems we face in a bipartisan effort, the way our predecessors did when the two parties shared power in Washington — all in the name of having an edge in the next election.
“And, frankly, it’s shameful.
“Americans elect their president and senators and congressmen to lead.
“They don’t expect us to agree on everything — but they expect us to work together when a problem becomes so pressing that cooperation across party lines is required.
“And now is such a moment.
“The debt is at crisis levels, posing a threat not just to businesses and families planning for the future, but to our national security.
“Since the President has taken office, nearly three million Americans have lost their jobs.
“As a result of the ongoing housing crisis, millions of homeowners are currently underwater on their mortgages.
“The only industry that seems to be growing is government, and the only city that seems to be isolated from the problems most Americans face right now is Washington.
“All at the taxpayers’ expense.
“The budget debate we’ve been engaged in the past several weeks is a direct result of the fact that Democrats in Congress failed to pass one of their own for the current fiscal year.
“Republicans had to step in to do it for them.
“And now, six months into the current fiscal year, the President and Democrat leaders in Congress still have yet to produce a plan of their own.
“House Republicans have produced multiple plans, including one that they’ll offer today which funds our troops through the end of the year, keeps the government running, and gets us one step closer to the level of spending cuts that even the senior senator from New York has described as reasonable.
“Unfortunately, Democrats would rather take potshots at these proposals from the sidelines, hoping that they become unpopular with the public so they can benefit politically.
“They’ve completely abdicated their responsibility.
“So I’d like to applaud Congressman Ryan, not only for the energy, and creativity, and seriousness which he’s brought to these issues, but also for his courage in doing so at a time when Democrats in Washington would rather sit on their hands.
“By stepping forward, he’s forcing a much-needed debate about the many crises of the moment.