September 11th, 2012
09:28 PM ET
10 years ago

Portman: Sequestration hasn't worked, not a good idea

(CNN) - Sen. Rob Portman, who is close to GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and was a member of the congressional so-called "super committee" tasked with devising a deficit reduction plan, said Tuesday that the upcoming sequestration - a penalty and incentive for the two partisan sides to work together - has been ineffective and prevented accomplishing just such across-the-aisle cooperation.

"I think actually not having the sequester in place would have made it more likely that we could have come up with an agreement," the Ohio Republican said on CNN's "OutFront." "I don't think the sequester worked, and therefore I don't think it was a good idea."

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In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, Romney said Republicans share blame for the sequester.

“I thought it was a mistake on the part of the White House to propose it,” Romney said. “I think it was a mistake for Republicans to go along with it.”

At the time, Democrats and Republicans blamed each other for the super committee's November 2011 failure to reach a "grand bargain" that included at least $1.2 trillion of federal deficit reduction.

The sequestration, or broad and deep cuts over 10 years to government spending, was considered undesirable, with some agreement for more targeted cuts preferable.

Elected in 2010 to the Senate, Portman's prior experience includes serving as President George W. Bush's budget director.

Like others on both sides of the aisle, Portman said he favors finding a way to "avoid this fiscal cliff," as some refer to the spending cuts and expiration of lowered tax rates that would result in January without Congressional action.

The Ohio Republican suggested as a solution that Congress "go ahead and put in place for the first year the spending reductions that are part of this longer 10-year spending reduction wrap," as well as extend the current tax code for a portion of the new year, "and during that time let's force congress to get its job done."

As to the timeline for accomplishing any action on the issue, Portman acknowledged Congress may not find a solution before voters head to the polls in November.

"I'm not sure if it can be done before the election. I certain think it should be," he said. "But it certainly could be done right after the election, regardless of what happens in the election, during what they call the lame-duck session of Congress."

Filed under: 2012 • Deficit • Mitt Romney • Rob Portman
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Larry L

    When the Republican side of the aisle decided to obstruct all progress so they could make political gains any hope for an effective Congress was gone. It was a purposeful and calculated plan – not an emotional response. That was the most unpatriotic and unethical political act in recent history.

    September 11, 2012 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haha

    Love those republicans. Something that HAS NOT HAPPENED YET ------ HASN'T WORKED.

    Don'tcha just love it. Good old boys. Be glad when the GOP is gone forever.

    September 11, 2012 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  3. Vote for Seamus, elect Kolob's next dog catcher

    Consider it warm up for debt collapse the tea baggers wrought last year by stalling the bill to acknowledge the debt.

    Now we are going for mandatory spending cut backs because the GOP reneged on their promises.

    Nut cutting time, enjoy your new haircut. The next round is going to be sharper and bigger.

    This is what you have been asking for, tough fiscal accounting, and cutbacks

    You can't back down, take your lumps,.

    September 11, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  4. myviewis

    Let me guess, Clinton, Wasserman Schultz, Carney, David Axelrod, Biden, Reid, Pelosi, etc... all will speak on behalf of Obama but we won't hear Obama get into an actual discussion about this, he'll give us a well written, scripted speech full of sarcasm, insults, mocking and hide behind it. At least Romney says what he thinks, it is his opinion.

    September 11, 2012 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Then why didn't he convince his fellow Republicans to accept the returning of the tax rates (or as they would see it: raising of the tax rates) to help pay for some things as well as limited cuts to some programs.

    September 11, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  6. Elle

    Obama needs to start running ads against Boehner and the other members of congress who refused to work with him, came up with this idea, voted for this idea, and now want to change it. The reason Hope and Change did not occur was because the Republicans were so focused on being the party of NO. No listening, no compromise, no solutions.

    September 11, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  7. Debbie

    Portman is tied to GWBush who in my opinion should be tried for treason for crimes against the people of the United States. Portman supported GWBush who allowed our childrens blood to be shed in Iraq for a war based on a lie of WMD.

    September 11, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  8. RGD

    Sequesteration is damn good idea since it ensures that Portman and other GOP senators will be held accountable for their failings to compromise with Democrats. Look at your own mirror since it is all your fault for saying NO to every deal including Obama's $4 trillion dollars deficit reduction during 2011 summer debacle. This coming from a guy who was Bush administration's budget guy when he ran up federal deficit from $4.8 to $10.6 trillion dollars from 2001 to 2009. GOP was in complete control of congress and presidency for first 6 years during that span. It is arithmetic, stupid!

    September 11, 2012 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  9. enuff

    Gee... you're a day late and a dollar short Perhaps they should have thought of that BEFORE they decided to hold taxpayers hostage.

    September 12, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  10. Satberry

    Yes of course typical republican,you lost the battle now you whine.Let the cuts take place because they are mostly on your sacred military spending.Let the bush tax cuts expire too and pay down the debt.Every gets the rod..

    September 12, 2012 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  11. J.V.Hodgson

    ERR DUH I must be stupid or something!? Sequestration has not yet gone into effect so how can it be that it has not worked!?1?
    Its a joke it passed the House and Senate with lots of Republican support (a rarity) I have an idea to let Republicans go over the cliff they created by totally and adamnatly refusing any tax increases elimination of tax loopholes and tax breaks... I have no confidence that Portman et al ( he and Ryan voted for sequestration... more correctly the budget bill) will even think about anything other than more tax cuts and increased defense spending ( especially if they win) and if Obama wins they will do the same as the last time so I say to Obama and the Republican House and Senate are told, It's the Budget Act (or fall of the fiscal cliff + original bush tax cuts etc) but we Democrats offer the spending cuts independently and advice/ ideas on defense cuts to implement the budget act.
    And the budget acr sequestrations gives the re-negotiation time till july 4th for finalising an agreed budget and tax code. Otherwise if you Republicans reject the budget act and Some tax increases per AJA then we feel the best solution is to as economists advise create a double dip recession the budget deficit and debt get fixed double quick time, as the bush tax cuts expire, and growth return late 2013 and early 2014.
    Mr Portman and the Rest of us voters need to get one thing clear in our minds the Bush last tax cuts cost $400BN of the current budget deficit PER ANNUM ( thats $4tr over 10 years) and were stated to pay for themselves and clearly did not. Portman is talking $ 100bn p.a of pure spending cuts ( none on defense but more elsewhere and no tax item increases) the solution that was rejected and led to the Budget act and potential sequestration. Its, so hypocritical and more of our way or the highway on the economic solution.
    Get real AJA per CBO created 1 to 1.6m jobs was debt and deficit neutral and increased GDP = more tax revenues from state sales taxes = less cuts in state services like education fire and police. In the last three recessions before this, this is the first time state Public sector jobs have been lost 500K plus most in last time elected Republican governor states.
    I smell a one term president rat as the cause not state real needs.

    September 12, 2012 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  12. mississippi

    If it can be done rite after the election it can be done before the election ! What's the hello does he think he getting paid for ! Big cut coming !! Gop ask for them!

    September 12, 2012 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  13. fernace

    I'm sorry, but was Portman In congress last year!? Going by That performance, congress wont Ever work for this president! They promised to make him "1 Term", which doesn't bode well for co operation! They also took a Pledge to never-under-any-circumstance raise taxes for the rich, which has meant "stalemate" for bills that would help Small Businesses, for ex.! Also, I find it disingenious that, once again, GOTP wants to "improve" programs we pay for mandatorily, in order to "reduce deficit"! For Portman to say a sequester is un-necessary, because they could all be such a big happy co-operational, compromising bi-partisan family w/out it, is either deep denial or a tounge-in-cheek confirmation of my 1st statements! I'll bet it's the latter! These non-working, living off the "govt. dole" people should be voted out! We Should start fresh!! Obama, Nov.6!

    September 12, 2012 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  14. Donkey Party

    The domestic terrorist GOP is trying to hold the country hostage again. The time is coming closer for armed insurrection against these America-haters. They must not regain power, or our country will lose it's way forever.

    September 12, 2012 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  15. A Kickin` Donkey

    Sequestration has worked. SPENDING will be cut and tax rates should go up on higher income individuals.

    Portman` "solution" amounts to a coeardly "kicking of the can down the road".

    If Ryan, Portman and other Republicans in the CONGRESS can`t come up with a package that meets Democratic objectives halfway, then ALL those GOP`ers should BE FIRED on Nov 6th.

    September 12, 2012 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  16. GI Joe

    Dumb republicans.

    Sequestration has not started yet.

    Republicans – "It hasn't worked".

    Get frickin' real.

    September 12, 2012 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  17. GI Joe

    Oh – Bush's budget director. That explains a lot of the ignorance of that man's statement that it hasn't worked (before it's even started).

    September 12, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |