Without offering any real framework, on Tuesday, President Barack Obama called on Congress to pass at least a short-term budget fix to avoid automatic sequestration spending cuts now set for March 1.
Sequester cuts were supposed to have kicked in on Jan. 1, but as a part of the eleventh-hour fiscal cliff deal reached by Congress on that date, those cuts were delayed until March 1.
Just three weeks ago, the president criticized Congress for doing this very thing — kicking the can down the road with short-term budget fixes and debt ceiling hikes.
“We’ve got to stop lurching from crisis to crisis to crisis,” Obama told reporters at the White House on Jan. 14, according to CNBC.
At Tuesday’s announcement, the president demanded that Congress replace the scheduled cuts with his long-familiar “balanced approach” of spending cuts combined with yet more tax hikes, according to The Hill.
“If they can’t get a bigger package done by the time the sequester is scheduled to go into effect, then I believe they should at least pass a smaller package,” Obama said per The Hill. “There is no reason that the jobs of thousands of Americans who work in national security or education or clean energy — not to mention the growth of the entire economy — should be put in jeopardy.”
Republican leaders, meanwhile, feel the American taxpayer has already contributed enough and that emphasis should be placed on actually reducing federal spending.
“We believe there is a better way to reduce the deficit, but Americans do not support sacrificing real spending cuts for more tax hikes,” House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio said, as The Hill reported.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told Fox News “Special Report” anchor John Roberts Tuesday night that the Republican Party would not be able to sign on to the president’s offer to kick the can down the road yet again in exchange for small spending cuts and more revenue increases.
“Absolutely not. You know, John, it’s just more of the same,” the Virginia lawmaker said according to Fox News. “We’ve got a real problem in this country, we know. We’re spending much more money than we have, to the tune of a trillion-plus dollars per year, and it’s just got to stop.”
Play the video below for the full Cantor interview.
“We have seen the effects that political dysfunction can have,” said Obama on Tuesday. “It will cost us jobs and hurt our economy,” said the president according to The Hill.
Indeed, and the dysfunction emanates from the White House’s refusal to submit a serious budget — one that even the members of his own party can approve. In lieu thereof, we continue to lurch from crisis to crisis applying temporary Band-Aids with crossed fingers.
Those crossed fingers are the true meaning of the Obama “hope.”
Read more at The Hill.
Eric Cantor on sequestration cuts.
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