WSJ – Obama blasts GOP; Wicker responds

Obama, in a twist to his frequent business-as-usual criticism of Washington, said he is disappointed to see a “dreary and familiar politics get in the way of our ability to move forward on a series of critical issues that have a direct impact on people’s lives.”

Republicans, along with some Democrats, on Thursday voted to defeat ending debate on a bill that would extend jobless benefits and renew a series of tax credits implemented in 2009. Attempts to vote on a bill that would raise a liability cap for oil companies from $75 million, a figure considered outdated and low, have also been blocked.

Obama said Americans deserve a simple up-and-down vote. He said more than 100 of his nominees to work in a host of federal positions are also awaiting Senate approval.

Republicans used their weekly radio address to criticize Obama’s response to the Gulf oil catastrophe. Sen. Roger Wicker (R., Miss.) said the country needs to continue to learn “more and more disturbing information about gross negligence on the part of BP–and about some proposals from the Obama administration that will do more harm than good.”

Wicker pointed to Obama’s Oval Office address to the nation on the Gulf oil disaster earlier in the week as a basis for criticism. He said Obama used a third of the speech to address advocating a new national energy strategy. He added, “Now is not the time to push a controversial, job-killing, partisan agenda through Congress.”

Wicker also criticized Obama’s decision to put a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf, saying it’s a third wave of the disaster. “If left in place, the moratorium will permanently eliminate thousands of jobs and drive up the cost of energy for all Americans,” he said.

Obama has said he wants a presidential commission to look quickly into whether deepwater drilling can continue safely.

Wicker also blasted Democratic proposals to increase oil clean-up fees. He said the proposals would take the country in the “wrong direction.”

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6/20/10