Cleaver is fighting the urge to play the race card on Obama’s budget.

(The Hill) — Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) expressed concern President Obama’s budget would go too far to rein in government spending in the midst of an economic recovery, calling the forthcoming proposal a ‘nervous breakdown on paper.’

“This budget is a nervous breakdown on paper,” said Cleaver during an interview on CNN’s Starting Point Monday morning. “We’re still in a recession, we’re still struggling. Unemployment is still too high,” he said.

The Missouri lawmaker said he understood the need for Congress to rein in spending. “We do have a serious ailment as a nation and certainly as Congress,” he said. “We suffer from ‘spendicitis.'” But Cleaver said the president was not “the one who spread this disease” and had inherited those problems when he came to office.

While he praised Obama for attempting to tackle challenging fiscal issues, Cleaver feared GOP pressure “for the federal government to turn the spigot off completely” could push the nation “deeper” into economic turmoil.