From remarks by House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) at a news conference yesterday in Washington:

The latest Republican suggestion, or gimmick, to try to make this budget come in under the caps and without spending Social Security, is probably the most cynical and cruel of the suggestions or gimmicks that they've made.

They are literally asking hard-working American families who are working their way out of welfare and into the middle class to make a loan to the government by spreading out their earned income tax credit payments over a 12-month period, rather than getting it in one lump sum.

First of all, H&R Block and other experts have said it's not feasible to even do it. Can't be done. But worse than that, even if it could be done, it is really asking people who are the most vulnerable and need the help the most to make a loan to the government so that we can play this gimmick of saying there are three more months in the year than there really are. This is really, I hope, the bottom of the barrel of their gimmick suggestions.

Once again, this is not going to work. Senators, I'm told, on the Republican side are saying they're not for it. I just wish the Republicans in the Senate and the House would come, sit down with the president, sit down with us and figure out a sensible, passable budget that would be good for the American economy and good for the American people. The sooner they do that, the better.