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Obama Vowed To Use Veto To Keep Sequester

From the archives of CBS News, back on November 21, 2011:

Obama pledges to veto effort to undo automatic spending cuts

By Kevin Hechtkopf | November 21, 2011

President Obama is promising to veto any effort to undo the automatic spending cuts that are set to take effect now that the congressional supercommittee has announced its failure to strike a deal to cut $1.2 trillion from the deficit over the next 10 years.

"Already some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic spending cuts. My message to them is simple: No," Mr. Obama said from the White House briefing room Monday evening. "I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending."

"There will be no easy off ramps on this one.," he added…

Even though Head Start will be ended for 70,000 poor children and more than 373,000 mentally ill patients will be left untreated?

But, granted, this isn’t quite as stark of a contradiction as it might sound at first. Obama was saying that he would veto any attempt to change the sequester if the Republicans did not agree to a tax increase. But they did agree to a tax increase. (The first time they have done so in more than twenty years.) And Obama still refuses to budge.

In fact, Obama and the news media now pretend that the $600 billion dollar tax increase (which is half the sequester cuts) never happened.

Some in Congress want to undo those cuts, particularly to defense spending, but Mr. Obama said he would not accept that. He called on Congress to come up with a deal in the next year to avoid that.

"One way or another we will be trimming the deficit by a total of at least $2.2 trillion over the next 10 years," he said. "The only way these spending cuts will not take place is if Congress gets back to work and agrees on a balanced plan to reduce the deficit by at least 1.2 trillion dollars. That’s exactly what they need to do."

In other words, Obama was only willing to undo the sequester if he could raise taxes. In fact, that is his sine qua non for practically everything.

Mr. Obama called on Congress to come up with what he called a "balanced" plan that includes both spending cuts and tax increases, and he blamed Republicans for the supercommittee’s inability to strike a deal.

"They continue to insist on protecting $100 billion worth of tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans, at any cost, even if it means reducing the deficit with deep cuts to things like education and medical research, even if it means deep cuts in Medicare," he said. "So at this point at least, they simply will not budge from that negotiating position. And so far, that refusal continues to be the main stumbling block that has prevented Congress from reaching an agreement to further reduce our deficit."

Lest we forget, the Republicans have ‘budged’ and raised taxes on the so-called rich by at least $60 billion dollars a year. (The first tax increase they have signed on to for more than twenty years.)

But Obama still refuses to compromise and allow any reductions in spending until taxes are raised still more.

Meanwhile, Republicans blamed the president and Democrats for the failure of the supercommittee.

"The Supercommittee’s failure is a direct result of President Obama’s negligence and Democrats’ intransigence," RNC chair Reince Priebus said in a statement. "Over the last four months, Republicans on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction worked around the clock to offer multiple proposals that would have broad bipartisan appeal. While Republicans were at the table negotiating in good faith, President Obama continued to prioritize campaigning over governing."

Gee, that sounds familiar. Some things never change.

By pledging to veto changes to the automatic cuts, Mr. Obama says he’s trying to pressure Congress to come up with a deal in the next year.

"We need to keep the pressure up to compromise, not turn off the pressure," he said. "Although Congress has not come to an agreement yet, nothing prevents them from coming up with an agreement in the days ahead."

Once again, the Republicans did compromise. Big time. And we see all the good it’s done them.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, February 20th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Obama Vowed To Use Veto To Keep Sequester”

  1. untrainable says:

    I long for the good old days when the Republicans were the party of no. Now they’re just the party spineless cowering weasels. Our crybaby speaker has knuckled under every single time the rubber has hit the road. Republicans who were elected to say no, once in power, take the Hitlery approach. “Eh, what difference does it make?” They know they’ll be in Washington long enough to get set for life, so even if they get booted at their next election… they have nothing to worry about for their lifetime.

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