In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Republicans: Sending Biden To Negotiate Economy = 'Phoning It In'

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Newscom

Johnson was part of a panel of Republican Senators that was billed as a chance "to discuss how the Obama Administration's agenda of more regulation, more taxes and more debt is impacting America's economic recovery."

The Senators attacked Obama over the health care law, EPA regulations and the host of other criticisms they've lobbed down Pennsylvania Avenue for months. They also accused the president of putting the economy on the back burner and -- as the appointment of Biden as chief negotiator shows, they said -- not caring enough to engage himself.

"We can't solve these problems without getting involved," Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said, "He's our leader, he should get involved and not just shovel it off to somebody else."

Hatch called on Obama to directly engage in negotiations over entitlement programs and demanded Medicare changes "be on the table" as part of the process.

Johnson said Obama just needs to get involved more, period.

"We are facing a debt crisis and our president is just phoning it in," he said.