The top four lawmakers in Washington on Wednesday responded to President Barack Obama's speech on long term fiscal policy. Their views offer a preview of formal negotiations proposed by Obama which are set to start in May.
See each lawmaker's full statement on the President's speech by clicking Start.
House speaker John Boehner rejected Obama's call for ending certain tax breaks in 2012 for people earning more than $250,000.
[A]ny plan that starts with job-destroying tax hikes is a non-starter. We need to grow our economy - not our government - by creating a better environment for private sector job growth, he said.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid lauded the president's speech for his handling of the Medicare healthcare program for seniors.
The President's plan will reduce the deficit by more than $4 trillion while protecting seniors on Medicare, and it recognizes that Social Security should be dealt with separately, Reid said.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Obama took the debate to a higher ground, focusing on the priorities Americans hold most dear and the principles that make our country strong.
The President made it clear: we will protect the health of our seniors by preserving Medicare and Social Security; invest in the education of our children; and ensure the strength of our middle class, as we reduce the deficit, she said.
Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell focused on Obama's tax increase proposal.
Americans know that we face a fiscal crisis not because we tax too little, but because Washington spends too much, he said. They do not support the reckless Washington spending of the past two years that has left us with record deficits and debt, and they will not support raising taxes to preserve an unsustainable status quo.
Correction: An article on Aprl 14, 2011 incorrectly attributed comments about President Barack Obama's fiscal policy speech by Sen. Harry Reid to Rep. Nancy Pelosi.