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GOP responses to State of the Union to be critical of Obama's agenda

Republican Rep. Paul Ryan is giving the official rebuttal to the State of the Union, but Rep. Michele Bachmann is giving her own, which will be aired live on CNN.

January 25, 2011|By James Oliphant, Washington Bureau

Reporting from Washington — Rep. Michele Bachmann will decry "an unprecedented explosion of government spending and debt at President Obama's direction unlike anything we have seen in the history of our country" in her State of the Union rebuttal this evening, according to excerpts released by her office.

Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican, isn't delivering the official GOP response; instead she's speaking on behalf of the "tea party." Her remarks will come after the party-sanctioned rebuttal by Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, and will be streamed on the website of the political action group Tea Party Express while carried live on CNN.

Her choice to offer an alternative response has been greeted with some grousing by other Republicans, but, as has been her political style, Bachmann isn't expected to offer much in terms of conciliatory remarks.

"For two years President Obama made promises," Bachmann is expected to say. "He claimed that he would find solutions to fix our economy and help create jobs. Well, here are a few suggestions:

"The president could stop the EPA from imposing a job-destroying cap-and-trade system.

"The president could agree with House Republicans and commit himself to signing a balanced budget amendment.

"The president could also agree to an all-of-the-above energy policy whereby we increase American energy production, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, reduce the price of gas at the pump, and create good-paying jobs in the U.S.

"Thanks to all of you, there's reason to hope that real spending cuts are coming," Bachmann will say. "Last November many of you went to the polls and voted out big-spending politicians and you put in their place men and women who have come to Washington with a commitment to follow the Constitution and cut the size of government. And I believe that we are in the early days of a history-making turn here in the House of Representatives."

Ryan, who will deliver his remarks from the offices of the House Budget Committee he chairs, is expected to be equally critical of the president's agenda, but in an excerpt of his speech released late Tuesday, it appears he will concede that the GOP has some work to do as well to regain the trust of the electorate.

"Americans are skeptical of both political parties, and that skepticism is justified — especially when it comes to spending," Ryan is expected to say. "So hold all of us accountable. In this very room, the House will produce debate and advance a budget. Last year — in an unprecedented failure — Congress chose not to pass, or even propose, a budget. The spending spree continued unchecked. We owe you a better choice and a different vision. Our forthcoming budget is our obligation to you — to show you how we intend to do things differently."

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