President Obama told House Republicans that they need to compromise and he will not be cleaning up their sequester mess for them.
The president popped John Boehner’s sequester blame game bubble by reminding the nation that the Congress has to pass the sequester replacement bill before he can sign it. Obama told House Republicans that they have to compromise. He said that the problem is that there are some House Republicans who won’t move an inch towards compromise.
Obama rejected the idea that House Republicans could pass the buck by giving him the power to make the cuts, “The problem is when you’re cutting $85 billion over seven months, there’s no smart way to do that…The broader point is Virginia that we can’t just cut our way to prosperity.” The president again called for the “rich to pay their fair share.” Obama said that he has run in his last election. He is not interested in spin. He is interested in solving problems.
On Sunday, House Republicans floated the idea that they could pass the responsibility (and all of the blame) for the cuts to the president by giving him the power to make cuts himself. President Obama made it clear today that for him this latest Republican made fiscal crisis isn’t just about the sequester. He is trying to make House Republicans take responsibility for the political games that they have been playing.
House Republicans are trying to pull the same stunt that they have pulled during every one of the previous fiscal standoffs. They have passed an extreme bill that will never pass the Senate, or be signed by the president. Instead of working with the Senate and White House to pass something that all parties can agree on, the House GOP stands by their previous unacceptable effort and hope that the Senate and White House cave and pass their bill.
The last three times that House Republicans have played this game of high stakes chicken with Obama, they’ve blinked. The president isn’t going to give House Republicans anything, until they agree to a balanced approach. The ball is in Boehner’s court. If the House Republicans get serious, they’ll be dealing with fallout from their sequester.