GOP freshmen to Obama: Show us your plan

Rep. Tom Reed, R-NY, center, is joined by other members of Congress outside the White House in Washington, Tuesday, July 19, 2011, after releasing a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to deal with the debt ceiling crisis. From left are, Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., Reed, Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., Rep. Bill Johnson R-Ohio, and Rep. Steve Southerland. R-Fla. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., center, is joined by other members of Congress outside the White House on Tuesday.
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Protests in front of the White House are nothing new in Washington - but the protesters are not usually members of Congress. But today, twenty-one freshman Republicans lined up on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the Executive Mansion in 90 degree plus heat to express their outrage that President Obama has not presented a formal plan for cutting the deficit.

"We're here to do the work and we're asking the president put it in writing, let's debate it, let's be honest with the American people, let's get through this debt crisis and this debt ceiling crisis and do something for America for generations," said Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y.

Obama on debt talks: "We are in the 11th hour"
Poll: 2/3 back tax hikes in debt deal
GOP debt plan: Balanced, or bad policy?

One by one, each of the new members voiced appeals directly into news cameras, orating as though they were in the well of the House - and all making the same accusation: the president has failed to respond to their letter asking him to come forward with a detailed plan that reduces the national debt and addresses entitlement reform.

"We've asked you for a plan Mr. President, you haven't delivered one," said Bill Johnson of Ohio. "America deserves better. Mr. President, give us your plan."

Asked if they would vote for a backup option rather than let the nation default on its debt, Mo Brooks of Alabama asserted that there would be no default, saying there is enough income to pay the creditors.

"A default is with respect to credit. Credit obligations of the United States of America are only two hundred and some odd billion dollars a year," he said. "We have income of over two trillion dollars a year. There will not be a default of our credit unless the president decides on his own to breach our obligation to our creditors."

Congressman Brooks didn't respond to a question about the effect that would have on the markets.

Thirty minutes later, point made, the twenty-one members, coats now off in the sweltering heat, headed for the bus which would take them back to Capitol Hill to vote on the "Cut, Cap and Balance" bill.

CBSNews.com special report: America's debt battle

  • Bill Plante

    Bill Plante is a CBS News Senior White House Correspondent

Comments