Boehner says sequester bad policy but punts to Senate Democrats
February 13th, 2013
12:32 PM ET
1 year ago

Boehner says sequester bad policy but punts to Senate Democrats

Washington (CNN) - With a little over two weeks before automatic spending cuts hit all federal agencies, House Speaker John Boehner said they are "bad policy" but restated his position that the House will not act to replace the so called "sequester," saying it was up to the Senate to pass a bill to lay out alternative cuts.

"We've played our cards, we laid out our hand - passed those bills and nothing happened. It' time for the Senate to do its job," Boehner told reporters on Capitol Hill.

Boehner is also expected to send out a letter Wednesday to all House members telling them to prepare for the impact of the cuts, which will also force all lawmakers, committees and administrative offices to cut their budgets.

"We're prepared to deal with it and I would hope that it wouldn't happen," Boehner said.

But when asked whether he would personally take a pay cut, the speaker sidestepped the question.

Even with the deadline looming on March 1st and defense officials and government agencies warning that the impact could trigger another recession and damaging cuts could undermine national security, there is no bipartisan solution on the horizon.

In the last Congress, the GOP-led House passed the same measure twice to replace the across the board cuts with another set of federal reductions, but that bill went nowhere in the Democratic controlled Senate. Senate Democrats are expected to roll out their own proposal this week, with a mix of spending cuts and new revenue. But Congressional Republicans have made it clear any tax increases to avoid the sequester are a non-starter.

Boehner criticized the automatic spending cuts, even though they were part of a debt ceiling proposal he brokered, and has worked to pin the blame for them on Democrats.

"The sequester is bad policy. It's taking a meat ax approach to cutting government spending. That's why the President ought to be forthcoming with a plan to replace his own sequester," the speaker said.


Filed under: John Boehner
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Pander Bear

    This sequester garbage was your doing, Boehner. You had a deal with the President over the debt ceiling and couldn't get 14 petulant Tea Baggers to work like adults and you caved. Resulting in the failed "SuperCommittee" that came up with sequester in the first place. Now you're crying about it. Worst Speaker ever.

    February 13, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    The GOTP strategy behind their narrative is unfolding. folks. The goal is to lay the entire concept and execution of sequestration on the lap of Pres. Obama.

    It kicked into high gear this week with Eric Cantor on MTP "correcting" David Gregory by telling him that the Sequestration Bill was originally Pres. Obama's proposal. I seem to recall that Cantor's raacus caucus in the Tea Party House had rejected the deal worked out between Pres. Obama and Spkr Boehner, and came up with Sequestration as a last minute alternative.

    Now we have a slogan to go along with the sequestratioin misinformation campaign, "#OBAMAQUESTER". Oh gee, look. They're even trying to use social media to spread their historical re-write of the Sequestration Bill. They are so transparent that is really pathetic.

    February 13, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  3. bearced

    The sequester happened as a result of bills in the house and senate this is not just the presidents doing. Mr Boehner I suggest you take your own advice and grow a pair, stop letting the Tea Party controll the agenda! Try and compromise for once, you do not need all Repulicans to vote in favor of a bill if you can get some Democrat support.

    February 13, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. Anthony in California

    Wait.. didnt Boehner walk away fro those meetings claiming to have gotten 90percent of what he wanted?
    So he thinks we're stupid?

    February 13, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  5. bearced

    P.S. Save the stupid props for Fox News, the rest of us are intelligent enough to know what really happened.

    February 13, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. Fair is Fair

    "We've played our cards, we laid out our hand – passed those bills and nothing happened. It' time for the Senate to do its job," Boehner told reporters on Capitol Hill."
    --------
    What you're asking for, Mr. Speaker, is for Harry Reid to do something that will force his colleagues, the president, or both to make, on the record, unpopular decisions. Not going to happen.

    February 13, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. PaulCat

    Either the president isn't leading or the senate democrats are not leading..

    Boehner, what is your job? Ask Eric Cantor when will he give you permission to lead.

    You should never use the word "lead."
    It does not become you.

    February 13, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Anthony in California

    Wait.. didnt Boehner walk away fro those meetings claiming to have gotten 90percent of what he wanted?
    So he thinks we're stupid?
    ------------------
    Actually, he told "60 Minutes" that he got 98% of what he wanted. And yes, Boehner probably believes that most Americans are as intelligent and savvy-less as most of his base.

    February 13, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  9. Bill

    Nice try Boehner. The sequstration was agreed to by both republicans and democrats and the Americam people know that. Obamaquester? A third grade could have done better than that.

    February 13, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  10. Al-NY,NY

    Hey Tan Man.....whose the "gutless" one here? If you can't keep the T-Trolls in line, than it's your problem, not the Democrats in Congress or the POTUS

    February 13, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  11. V

    "We've played our cards, we laid out our hand – passed those bills and nothing happened. It' time for the Senate to do its job," Boehner told reporters on Capitol Hill."

    " . . . "We've played our cards, we laid out our hand – passed those bills and nothing happened. It' time for the Senate to do its job," Boehner told reporters on Capitol Hill."
    ----------------
    Mr. Boehner – Please explain what YOUR job is????

    February 13, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  12. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Aw No!,
    You mean Rome has burned to the ground? Tjhe fire trucks were too late. Gee, I wonder what happened to Nero's Fiddle? What's that that? It's alive and well in the 21st Century? George Orwell was too early. This is 1984!

    February 13, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  13. Form the left coast....

    Is it treasonous to undermine the integrity of the government through deliberate acts of disruption? When Boehner, McConnell, Cantor and the GOP (read grumpy old party-poopers) regularly follow a path the ignores and insults their constitutional mandates, is this treasonous? Congress had the power of the purse. The president can direct, but Congress has the responsibility to act. Congress is constitutionally mandated to provide a postal service. Guess what? Not happening. Congress has the power to apportion money, the president has the power to accept or to veto. How can he make that choice if Congress refuses to do its job?
    I believe the phrase is "provide for the common good." Collective stupidity is not good government. Disrespect and obstruction are not good government. Divisive, undermining policies are not good government. (I'm specifically pointing to the VAWA. Any man who stands in the way of this protection is, in my opinion, practicing class warfare.) Yet, these GOP gangsters prey around the vulnerable, continue to redirect our attention toward what they perceive as "their agenda," and ignore the will of the majority.
    I am disgusted and amazed at the collective stupidity of the elected representatives in Washington, DC. They serve at our direction. Impeach the House leadership and McConnell. What arrogant, pompous embarrassments.

    February 13, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  14. Just Saying

    It seems like Boehner wantsto blame everyone except his own inability to lead in the House. It's just like the kid who always yells "it's not my fault" when he gets in trouble. Grow up, Mr. Speaker (and I use that term loosley) and do the job you were sent to do. That, or step aside and let a real man/woman do the job.

    February 13, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  15. Martha in CF

    Mr Boehner just can't take the bull by the horns and get the job done. Calls on someone else to do the job all the time..........GET ER DONE

    February 13, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  16. Ferret out the BS

    Yes, yes, the spirit of compromise and reaching across the isle for bi-partisan legislation is alive and well in congress. I love the finger pointing and little games they play like 2nd graders, gives me so much faith in our congressional leadership. I can take heart, when I lose my job because of the sequestration, that Boehner and Cantor have my back and will guide me to the alter of blame and finger pointing to alleviate my suffering. I look so forward to it, after all who needs a job anyway?

    February 13, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  17. Donna

    So Bush signed the "Bush Tax Cuts" into law and they became the "Bush Tax Cuts for the Rich" even though Democrats voted for them. Then Obama signed the extension of the "Bush Tax Cuts for the Rich" into law, yet they remained the "Bush Tax Cuts for the Rich" when they were legally the "Obama Tax Cuts for the Rich".

    And NOW, with no George Bush in sight to blame, the "OBAMA Sequestration Cuts" which HE SIGNED INTO LAW, (and also came up with according to everybody involved) are suddenly the fault and responsibility of others???

    This incompetent clown won't even take ownership of his own ideas and bills he signs. Yeah, real "leadership" from behind there!! And we wonder why the country and economy are tanking.

    February 13, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  18. JK-MN

    "I got 98% of what I wanted in that deal" - John Boehner

    February 13, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    "We've played our cards, we laid out our hand – passed those bills and nothing happened. It' time for the Senate to do its job," Boehner told reporters on Capitol Hill."

    What you're asking for, Mr. Speaker, is for Harry Reid to do something that will force his colleagues, the president, or both to make, on the record, unpopular decisions. Not going to happen.
    ------------
    Didn't you know that Democrats can "silent filibuster" bills, too? Besides, Harry Reid has told John Boehner on countless occasions to not even bother with voting on a House bill because it would never see the light of day in the Senate. But, Boehner went forward anyway and conducted his "tactical vote", just so that people like you can make this claim. Besides, most of the bills were ridiculous: affirming the phrase "In God We Trust"; banning energy saving light bulbs, rejecting the ACA at least 30 times and calling it a "budget"; ditto for financial reform; etc.

    February 13, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  20. Richard

    Sequester affects only 85 Billion of the US's 3.8 Trillion dollar budget or 2.2%. By comparison, the budget grew from $3.1 Trillion to $3.8 Trillion under Obama, a 22.5% increase. This is hardly a big chunk of what's being spent and the House should block any attempts by the Democrats to prevent it from happening.

    February 13, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  21. Larry L

    @Fair is Fair

    What you're asking for, Mr. Speaker, is for Harry Reid to do something that will force his colleagues, the president, or both to make, on the record, unpopular decisions. Not going to happen.
    =========================
    You ignore the fact the Republicans in the Senate will filibuster any and all actions. Mitch McConnell filibustered his own proposal – the first time any Senator in history was that blatantly obstructive! For now Senate Republicans are busy blocking all appointments to critical positions in our government. Terror groups couldn't be more destructive to America.

    February 13, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  22. Larry L

    The Speaker's name and behavior reminds of a common situation for men some mornings. It's kinda intriguing to consider it's possibilities, could produce great outcomes, but ultimately proves to be useless.

    February 13, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  23. O'really

    If the sequester wasn't a good idea then why in the "sam hill" did they propose and pass it in the first place, including the President? Typical of our governmental so called "leaders" mental midget mentality. Can we please have some common sense in our government?

    February 13, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  24. IndepedantConservative

    I'm a conservative and i do not like this current republican party....boehner is a horrible house speaker..all he does is blame to other side without extending an olive branch to work on a deal for the good of the people..if sequester does happen then the jobs losses will be on this gop congress...i will work to vote them out too..

    February 13, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  25. IndepedantConservative

    if any of you are on twitter, tweet your reprensentatives and boehner...they need to hear our voices! stop sequester now! stop playing games with middle class jobs

    February 13, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
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