Clinton criticizes House GOP budget plan

AP News
Posted: Mar 17, 2015 10:28 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton is taking on a tried and true foil — House Republicans — as she prepares for a likely 2016 Democratic presidential campaign.

Clinton blasted a budget proposal released by Republicans on Tuesday, saying on Twitter it "fails Americans" on investments in jobs and economic growth, would cut college aid for students and undermine President Barack Obama's health care law. It was the second straight day that the former secretary of state turned to social media to criticize Congress, a tactic used extensively by President Barack Obama during his 2012 re-election campaign.

"Budgets reflect our priorities. They should help families get ahead, educate our kids, and spark small business growth," Clinton said on Twitter. She said the "nation's future — jobs & economic growth — depends on investments made today. The GOP budget fails Americans on these principles."

Clinton's Twitter response came hours after Republicans released a $3.8 trillion budget plan in the House that would overhaul the tax code and aims to balance the budget in a decade in tandem with deep cuts in social programs and the repeal of Obama's health care law. The White House said the proposal failed to make investments in education, infrastructure and national defense, setting up a likely budget clash in the months before the next presidential campaign.

Clinton faulted the budget proposal's outlook for education, saying cuts to Pell Grants "hold our kids back." She also warned against another attempt to repeal the health care law, saying it would "let insurers write their own rules again, and wipe out coverage for 16 million Americans."

Clinton, who has faced criticism in recent weeks over revelations that she used a private email account at the State Department, has sought to present herself as an above-the-political-fray figure who would overcome Washington gridlock. But she has also ratcheted up criticism of Republicans in control of both chambers of Congress.

On Monday, she blasted Senate Republicans for holding up confirmation of Loretta Lynch, Obama's choice to be Attorney General, until the Senate completed a human trafficking bill that was complicated by a provision related to funding for abortions. Clinton called it a "Congressional trifecta against women."

Her approach offers parallels to Democrats' attempt to tarnish 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney with the budget plan that included sharp cuts to social programs developed by Rep. Paul Ryan, who later became Romney's running mate. It comes as Clinton is formulating policies that will form the foundation of her pitch to Americans, chief among them how to boost wages and create more economic opportunities for Americans.

"It's a very central part not just of 2015, but 2016: What are the ideas and investments we're going to make to give Americans more economic opportunity," said Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.