Lawmakers agree: Budget sequester isn't good
February 10th, 2013
11:56 AM ET
1 year ago

Lawmakers agree: Budget sequester isn't good

(CNN) - Lawmakers from both parties and both chambers of Congress agreed Sunday that if sequestration budget cuts go into effect next month, there will be a negative impact on the economy and the country as a whole.

In separate appearances on NBC's "Meet The Press," Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, both said they don't want the sequester cuts to take place. They suggested different ways to deal with the series of automatic, across-the-board spending cuts, spread out over the next decade, which are set to kick in on March 1.

Cantor, like most Republicans, wants to fix the nation's fiscal woes without raising taxes, a move he said President Barack Obama favors.

"The tax fight for the president means higher taxes, more revenue," Cantor said. "We can't be raising taxes in this town every three months."

But Durbin, a close Obama ally, said more taxes are what's needed to solve the problem.

"The president believes, and I agree, within tax reform, we can find additional savings in the next ten years. We can use that to put towards deficit reduction and keep this economy moving forward," Durbin said.

The tax issue is a major sticking point when lawmakers discuss these sequestration cuts, and with less than three weeks to go before they take effect, Cantor said a breakthrough doesn't look promising.

"The president, you know, he's the one who proposed the sequester in the first place. So again, I'm questioning where this thing is going because he's not moved in a serious way, but we remain anxiously waiting for him to come to the table to work with us to solve this problem," Cantor said.

But Durbin later countered that Obama proposed the sequester as a strategy to break a deadlock in Congress.

"When the president proposed the sequester, it was as an incentive to those of us in Congress to work together on a bipartisan basis to solve these problems. It was supposed to be so awful that the 'super committee' would finally reach bipartisan agreement. But because they completely rejected revenue, it never happened," Durbin said.

That remark was echoed by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who said on "Fox News Sunday" the sequester was "a bad idea, all around."

"It is something that is out of the question," Pelosi said.

However the nation arrived at this point, the fact remains that the economy is nearing yet another crisis, Durbin said.

"Sequestration was designed as a budget threat, not as a budget strategy. And I think all of us understand if it goes forward in less than three weeks, it's going to have a dramatic, negative impact on many agencies, equally important to the economy," said Durbin.


Filed under: Budget • Dick Durbin • Eric Cantor
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. GonzoinHouston

    Well, at least they agree on something! Next they'll discuss those findings by Newton on that gravity thingy. Then there's that committee presentation by the Flat Earth Society.

    Here's the problem; if there's no compromise then nothing gets done until one party has overwhelming power, and then it's likely that party will go overboard with their program. Yeesh!

    February 10, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  2. vic , nashville ,tn

    “Lawmakers from both parties and both chambers of Congress agreed Sunday that if sequestration budget cuts go into effect next month, there will be a negative impact on the economy and the country as a whole. “

    Only one bill they worked two years
    That mean 112th congress total waste
    They wasted tax payers money $170000 x 535 x 2 = $181900000

    February 10, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. T

    .........ANSWER ME THIS......What is a "COMPROMISE" that can be found with people who say..........THE EARTH IS FLAT....?

    February 10, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. rs

    Another brilliant GOP economic bill gone bad. Should we expect different from the "cut taxes and spend" crowd? Everything they have proposed since crashing the economy in '07 has been wrong. We see the effects of cutting federal spending-fewer jobs, no recovery; we see the effects of tax cuts for the rich- no jobs, money off-shored, an empty treasury; and we see the effects of stripping workers of livable wages and benefits- no spending. The GOP is 0 for 3. I think we call that an "out".
    I'd say they should go back to what they do best- micro-manage women's reproductive systems, but the Taliban are our enemies- we don't need them here.

    February 10, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Fiscal Responsibility. The thing about the Liberal's is they want to great things. They just want to do it with somebody else's money. After 75 years of spending and the Liberal's borrowing 40 to 46 cents of every dollar they spend and now a 16.5 Trillion dollar federal debt it is time to send the liberal's packing.

    February 10, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. rs

    Ray-
    If the GOP's fiscal policies are so good, how did things get so messed up under Bush? How is it Reagan tripled the Debt?
    Come on, the GOP hasn't had a reasonable fiscal policy since the '50s. The sad thing is YOU KNOW THAT.

    February 10, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    We have to feel some pain, to EVER recover from this depression. It CANNOT be avoided. There can be no improvement, until we accpet the pain that has to be felt before any recovery can begin.

    We have kicked that can down the road, for 4 years now, and there is still zero improvement. Let the sequester happen, and stop trying to postpone and kick the can down the road........AGAIN!

    February 10, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  8. madnessofjack

    "However the nation arrived at this point, the fact remains that the economy is nearing yet another crisis, Durbin said."

    Have we become so entrenched with the concepts of a command economy that we have forgotten that we are ACTUALLY a market based consumer economic system????

    The Keynesian explanation for our current macro-economic problems is called a "liquidity trap"......why is that Keynesian concept being so vividly ignored????
    "Growth" is based on consumer spending.....NOT the government taking the place of the consumer or subsidizing consumer expenditure.

    Even IF you are a Keynesian....why has the understanding that what passes for Neo-Keynesianism today is far, far removed from its original theory???

    At least have the intellectual honesty to admit that this "new" Keynesianism is a cover for an outright central planning, or otherwise known as a command economic system.
    We who follow the Austrian school of thought understand this for what it is.....the State-Corporatist model....and it is becoming more and more like the economic system described by Benito Mussolini in his book "The Doctrine of Fascism"

    February 10, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. Steve

    My prediction: In the eleventh hour, sequestration will be delayed six months or so. During those six months, moderates from both parties will meet and offer some concessions. They can't convince the ultra-left or ultra-right members of their parties to make those concessions. When sequestration is about to hit, again, they can't get anything done and opt to delay sequestration, and so on and so forth. Then, the moderates who were willing to compromise lose their primaries for not being liberal or conservative enough.

    This sequester is a terrible idea, but something needs to be done about the debt. Given the ultra-partisan realities of Washington, this is better than nothing, which is all Congress would be able to put forth.

    February 10, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  10. Ancient Texan

    Even Obama agrees that sequestration was a BAD idea. It was Obama's idea to start with.

    February 10, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  11. Name lynn

    Obama dont let them hurt the people poor an middle class, to please the white house leaders.

    February 10, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  12. Larry L

    @Ray E. (Georgia)

    Fiscal Responsibility. The thing about the Liberal's is they want to great things. They just want to do it with somebody else's money. After 75 years of spending and the Liberal's borrowing 40 to 46 cents of every dollar they spend and now a 16.5 Trillion dollar federal debt it is time to send the liberal's packing.
    =======================================================================================
    Were you in a coma during the Reagan and Bush years? I've seen hundreds of your posts and not one of them takes any responsibility for the recession. Cutting taxes, and wild spending by both parties, two un-funded wars, defense contract corruption, and a completely unregulated Wall Street creates a bad situation. Duh! Trickle-down does not work – shown time and time again. We had to try to spend our way out of the freefall – like Bush's first stimulus package. I know right-wingers are afraid of science but you must at least accept the most obvious math results.

    Would you have allowed the economy to fall from Bush's recession into a deep depression? Do you really believe we could have pulled out of such a freefall given the state of world affairs? You throw out nasty words but never back them up with any real alternatives. As a Monday morning quarterback what would YOU have done?

    February 10, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  13. Flatlander

    Time to cut Social Security and Medicare. Why should I have to support some old people I don't even know.

    The problem with the federal government is big spending. If I has making the decisions on spending cuts. Everything that not defense related would be zero funded.

    February 10, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  14. joepa14221

    RS get your facts right, this was a bill developed by Jack Lew who last i checked worked for obama. let the sequester stay. Virginia and California voted for him and let them reap the problems.

    February 10, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  15. george

    Obama must think the sequester is good. He said when it was passed in to law that he would veto and bill that attemoted to bypass the sequester.

    February 10, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  16. Seth A Drekin

    @Ray E. – I didn't know the Republican Party was full of Liberals..

    Considering our 16 trillion dollar debt is a direct result of the Bush Tax Cuts, The Wars in the Middle East and an Economic Crash resulting from Republican Policies, I don't see how you can put it on Liberals..

    Throughout the history of our nation, Wars were funded by a Tax specifically designed to pay for them. Who honestly thought you could pay for Two with a massive Tax Cut?

    February 10, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |