(CBS) The Senate's top Republican said he hopes the President tells Congress to put health-care reform legislation on the shelf and instead focus on the economy and boosting jobs.
That from Senator Mitch McConnell as the President prepares for his upcoming State of the Union address. McConnell said President Obama needs to address how to boost the slumping economy without raising taxes or sticking companies with extra costs for an overhaul of the health care system.
"I think the president ought to start by saying we're going to put the health-care bill on the shelf. I think -- and that will mean, of course, that American businesses thinking of expanding employees will know that they're not going to get hit with health-care taxes. Number two; I hope the president will indicate that we're not going allow taxes to go up this year. As we all know, they are supposed to go up later this year."
You can watch his Senator McConnell’s speech below.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R - Tennessee) said his suggestion for the President is to talk about creating jobs, reducing debt and protecting America from would-be terrorists.
"My respectful suggestion would be, if he wants to reconnect to the American people, that subject number one of his address should be jobs. Subject number two should be debt. Subject number three should be terror. And it wouldn't hurt my feelings one bit if he stopped right there and focused with intensity on those three items -- jobs, debt, and terror -- until he had them going in a better direction and then we could get on to dealing with other issues."
The President is expected to propose a three-year spending freeze on certain federal programs. It's an idea McConnell supports; although he warned it’s going to "take a lot more" than a "modest freeze" to get the nation's economy back on track.
"I think any indication the administration is trying to reduce spending is a good thing, but we've been on quite a binge over the last 12 months, and it's going it take a lot more than just this kind of modest freeze to get us back on the right track."
When it comes to the re-confirmation of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, McConnell said he believes he will have enough support to keep him in the post.
Senator McConnell offered more suggestions for the President’s State of the Union Address during a speech on the Senate floor earlier today.
You can watch the President’s State of the Union Address on WYMT, Wednesday at 9pm. What would you like to hear the President say? Let me know your thoughts. I’ll share your comments here on the blog.
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