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Djou, Obama Spar Over Different Styles of Spending

Spending was the theme for the competing weekly radio addresses on Saturday, with Republican Rep. Charles Djou accusing Democrats of being on a deficit spending spree and President Barack Obama attacking Republicans for allowing corporations to spend unlimited sums on campaign ads.

Djou, the Hawaii Republican elected just three months ago, said Democrats’ solution is to “spend and spend” and that the country is now “paying the price.” He warned against Democrats letting the tax cuts imposed under President George W. Bush expire, and suggested Republicans have better solutions to solving the current fiscal crisis.

“If we keep spending too much, borrowing too much, and taxing too much — if we keep doing the same things, we’re going to get the same dismal results. It’s time to change direction. It’s time to listen,” Djou argued.

He asked Democratic House leaders to consider the GOP’s proposed $1.3 trillion in spending cuts when the chamber returns next month. The cuts, he argued, would result from canceling unspent stimulus funds and money provided under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

“Of course, this is just a start,” Djou said. ” Much more needs to be done to make sure Washington has gone on its last spending spree, but these are steps we can take right now to demonstrate to taxpayers at home and allies abroad that America is serious about getting its fiscal house in order.”

Meanwhile, Obama used his address to accuse Republicans of holding up campaign finance legislation that would reveal who is bankrolling certain campaign advertisements. Obama said the result of the blockade is “shadowy groups with harmless sounding names” flooding the airwaves this election season.

“We don’t know who is behind these ads and we don’t know who is paying for them,” Obama said in his weekly radio address.

The President said the wave of new attack ads comes on the heels of a January Supreme Court decision that allows corporations and unions to spend unlimited sums on campaign advertising. He accused Republicans of “playing political games” by blocking legislation to deal with the issue, and said American cannot “allow a corporate takeover of our democracy.”

The House has cleared legislation to address the ruling by requiring greater disclosure of campaign financing, but the measure stalled in the Senate where Democrats were unable to overcome GOP filibuster. Republicans argue the legislation– otherwise known as the DISCLOSE Act — violates free speech protections. The GOP objections persist, and it is unclear whether Democrats will be able to muster the 60 votes they need to pass the bill when they reconvene in September.

“You would think that making these reforms would be a matter of common sense,” Obama argued. “You’d think that reducing corporate and even foreign influence over our elections wouldn’t be a partisan issue. But the Republican leaders in Congress said no. In fact, they used their power to block the issue from even coming up for a vote.

“This can only mean that the leaders of the other party want to keep the public in the dark,” Obama continued. “They don’t want you to know which interests are paying for the ads. The only people who don’t want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide.”

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