While Cumberland County turned anxious eyes to the swollen Susquehanna, worried not if but when the usually languid river would rise over its banks and inundate low-lying communities, the nation's leaders turned their eyes to President Barack Obama, who unveiled his long-awaited recovery plan.
In his speech, which lasted less than 45 minutes, Obama proposed a plan that contains $253 billion in tax cuts and $194 billion in new spending; increases and extends a Social Security payroll tax cut for workers; and provides a tax cut to employers, according to the Associated Press.
Most of what the president proposed stands little chance of implementation without the agreement and backing of Congressional Republicans, many of whom have previously derided the president's perceived hubris.
U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-9, said in a statement prior to the speech, "President Obama faces significant challenges tonight in convincing the American people that he can succeed in putting our economy back on the path of job creation and economic growth. While I look forward to hearing his proposals, I am concerned I will hear more of the same rhetoric and warmed-over policies we've come to expect from this administration on the economy."
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Following the speech, a representative for Shuster said that Shuster's position was, "this is what Obama should have done in the first stimulus, but he squandered that opportunity. There are portions that House Republicans are willing to discuss, but we have to see the bill, we have to go through it."
U.S. Rep. Todd Platts also issued a statement on the speech.
"Since the 112th Congress began in January, the U.S. House of Representatives has prioritized a legislative agenda intended to foster a better environment for job creation in America.
"I was disappointed in the president's assertion earlier this week that Republicans who disagree with his proposed solutions are putting their political needs before those of the country," the press release quoted Platts as saying.
"Nevertheless, I will certainly consider the president's proposals in good faith, and where we agree, such as in preventing an increase in the payroll tax, I look forward to working with him."
Shuster expressed similar sentiments, vowing to, "find ways to agree, to work together," with the president and the Democratic Party.