Speaker of the House, John Bohener, et al are making sure that they pin the “sequester” bill on President Obama. The idea is to blame Obama for anything that goes wrong once the sequester is set in motion.
Economist and former Economic Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, Jared Bernstein knows a thing or two about these things and wrote the following piece:
It’s time to defuse the latest fiscal time bomb
This originally appeared on Jared Bernstein’s blog, On the Economy.
For my sanity and yours, I rarely get into the silliest corners of politics, but this conservative talking point that the word “sequester” must actually be called “Obama’s sequester,” like they had nothing to do with it, is really beyond the pale. I get that both sides are trying to position themselves to not get blamed for this totally preventable, self-inflicted wound, but here are some facts that belie this ridiculous Republican disowning of a policy they supported.
–The sequester was part of the Budget Control Act, passed in 2011 with bipartisan support. In fact, a larger share of House R’s voted for the bill than D’s: 174 (73%) voted for it and 66 against, while Ds were split 95-95. In the Senate, 28 Rs voted for it and 19 against, while D’s supported it 45-6.
–Voting in support of the bill that contained the sequester were Reps Boehner, Ryan, Cantor and Sen. McConnell.
–Speaker Boehner said of the bill including the sequester: “I got 98% of what I wanted.” Given their highly amped up disdain of the sequester now, I find it hard to believe that this was the 2% he didn’t want.
–On the day of the vote, Rep Paul Ryan explained the spending cuts in the bill to Sean Hannity, adding the following:
“And if they breach that amount across the board, sequester comes in to cut that spending, and you can’t turned that off without a supermajority vote. We got that in law. That is here…”
–Then there’s the Power Point slide that the Daily Beast put up yesterday from Speaker Boehner in July of 2011 advertising the sequester as a selling point to his fellow R’s: “[The bill] sets up a new sequestration process to cut spending across-the-board…”
So, should we be calling this “Ryan’s sequester?”…“Boehner’s sequester?”
No. We—they—should stop acting like truculent kids on the playground, get to work, and defuse their latest fiscal time bomb.
- Boehner’s sequester paradox: It’s awful, it’s entirely Obama’s fault, and I really want it to happen (dailykos.com)
- Why Congress won’t win a sequester showdown with President Obama – in 3 easy steps (washingtonpost.com)
- Rand Paul Slaps Obama For Sequester “Histrionics” (stoptheaclu.com)
- Obama “Virtually Absent” from Legislative Process, Making “No Discernible Effort” to Replace His Sequester (speaker.gov)
- PowerPoint Presentation Shows Boehner Selling The Sequester To His Members In 2011 (tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com)
- Freshman lawmaker fears Boehner will cave on taxes once sequester hits (thehill.com)