In an exclusive interview with Jake Tapper on CNN, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) replied to a question about the sequester by admitting that Obama ‘didn’t want the cuts.’
Watch the exchange here:
BOEHNER: And so, he (Obama) forced this process to occur. And insisted —
TAPPER: But he didn’t want the sequester cuts —
BOEHNER: Well, no, he didn’t want the cuts, but uh, uh, oh, we have the sequester as a result of his demands. And I, uh, told my colleagues in the House that the sequester will stay in effect until there’s an agreement that will include cuts and reforms that will put us on a path to balance the budget over the next ten years.
Speaker Boehner has been trying to blame President Obama for the sequester for months, but sequestration is a Republican idea (long-touted by their budget “hawks”), which was presented as a last ditch option to the Republican’s taking the country hostage over the debt ceiling.
Yet Boehner admits that the President didn’t want the sequester cuts.
Boehner admits Obama didn’t want the cuts, but then says we have the sequester because of Obama’s “demands”. No, that’s not quite how it happened either. What happened was Republicans refused to raise the debt ceiling to pay for their spending. As a result, our credit was tanking and economists worried about the impact on our fragile economy. Sane people tried to reason with Republicans but there was no talking to them. Finally, someone suggested that the threat of sequester be added into the Budget Act of 2011 in order to force both sides to compromise when the time came.
The time came, and Republicans refused to compromise — or rather, Speaker Boehner couldn’t get his Tea Party caucus to compromise with the Speaker’s own proposals. House Republicans refused to raise a dime of revenue. They wanted cuts, cuts, cuts and tax cuts for the rich.
Republicans claim Obama already got his revenue, but if letting the Bush tax cuts expire long past their due date is going to count, than so too should the 2 trillion in cuts the President already gave Republicans.
But no, Republicans won’t budge. So Speaker Boehner has to blame the President for the sequester, even when confronted with the fact that the President did not want these cuts. Even now, Boehner is sticking to his hardline that the sequester will be in effect until and unless his House gets the “agreement” (aka, fold) that they are demanding of cuts and reforms with no revenue.
The President didn’t want the sequester cuts; you heard it from John Boehner himself. Yet in John Boehner’s mind, the President forced the House Republican to fail to do his job in presenting a budget that would actually get passed by the Senate (yes, that’s the way our system is set up as checks and balances against hostage taking and refusals to compromise). Boehner also must believe that Obama magically got the Tea Party to refuse to do anything Speaker Boehner wanted them to do, like agree to revenue by the side alley approach. Boehner logic: The President never wanted this, but it’s all his fault for not doing the House’s constitutionally mandated job for them.
Republicans continue to rule by a tyrannical minority and blame everyone else for the outcome of their folly. Oh, but they’re rebranding their obstruction and catering to the rich/corporations, so it doesn’t matter what they do. It matters what they tell you about what they’re doing, and they’re telling you it’s all Obama’s fault. They are powerless and impotent and can’t get the job done on their own.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.