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News Summary: GOP blasts Obama plan to sell TVA

The Associated Press

YEA AND NAY: In a political role reversal, Republicans are blasting President Barack Obama's plan to consider selling the Tennessee Valley Authority, an icon of the New Deal long targeted by conservatives as an example of government overreach.

PREZ PITCH: Obama's 2014 budget proposal calls for a strategic review of the TVA, the nation's largest public utility with 9 million customers in seven states from Virginia to Mississippi. Selling the U.S-owned power company could reduce the federal deficit by at least $25 billion, according to a budget document.

GOP: President Dwight Eisenhower called TVA "creeping socialism," while President Ronald Reagan criticized it as an example of big government. Republicans from Barry Goldwater to Newt Gingrich suggested privatization. But Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., calls it a bad proposal and Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., vowed to "carefully study any proposals to restructure TVA."