In his weekly address, President Barack Obama spoke on U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, while Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers used the Republican response to hammer the budget proposal he sent to Congress on Monday.
The president made no mention of his budget, and in his remarks -- taped at the Washington state Boeing plant he visited Friday -- said that the U.S. is making progress toward becoming a more desirable place for manufacturing.
"It's now getting more expensive to do business in places like China," he said. "Meanwhile, America is more productive than ever. And companies like Boeing are realizing that even when we can't make things cheaper than China, we can make things better. That's how we're going to compete globally."
He argued for the manufacturing tax policy changes he outlined in his State of the Union address in January.
"No company should get a tax break for outsourcing jobs. Instead, tax breaks should go to manufacturers who set up shop here at home," Obama said. "Bigger tax breaks should go to high-tech manufacturers who create the jobs of the future. And if you relocate your company to a struggling community, you should get help financing that new plant, that new equipment, or training for new workers."
"And Congress should send me that kind of tax reform right away," he continued, mirroring a theme of urgency from his January address.
McMorris Rodgers -- whose district does not include the Everett, Washington, plant that Obama visited Friday -- argued that the president's budget would instead make the country less competitive with manufacturing giants such as China.
"Instead of leading the effort to bring down our debt and make tough choices, the president is proposing that we spend more and more," she said. "All his wasteful spending puts us deeper in debt to China. All his tax hikes would destroy jobs and make it tougher to compete with China."
His $3.8 trillion proposal, she said, reneges on Obama's promise to halve federal deficits by the end of his first term.
"He won't even come close," she said. "Because of the president's failure to control spending, the government will run trillion-dollar deficits in each of his four years in office. President Obama's broken promises have left our country broke."
The administration predicted that under this proposal, the deficit would reach $1.3 trillion, then drop to $901 billion in 2013.
And McMorris Rodgers argued that the spending cuts are not new sacrifices, but previously negotiated cuts and mirage.
"More than half of the proposed 'savings' in the president's budget for the next year -- about $2 trillion -- are already law," she said. "These savings come from the Budget Control Act -- the bill congressional Republicans insisted that the president sign last year in response to his demand for an increase in the nation's debt limit."
She continued, "Another almost $1 trillion in 'savings' comes from what we call the 'war gimmick' -- money that was never requested and will never be spent on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those aren't real savings."
Capitol Hill is expected to be quiet in the week ahead, as the House and Senate voted on Friday to extend the payroll tax cut, unemployment benefits and Medicare reimbursements.