Sequestration cuts, we learned yesterday, continue to undermine the U.S. economy severely, and are quickly losing support of the congressional Republicans who pushed for the policy in the first place. As the GOP budget strategy unravels, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said yesterday the sequester is “unrealistic,” “ill-conceived,” and a policy that “must be brought to an end.”
For now, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) doesn’t give a darn.
Speaker John A. Boehner came before the mics on Thursday, and he made one thing clear: The sequester is here to stay until the White House gets serious about spending cuts.
“Sequestration is going to remain in effect until the president agrees to cuts and reforms that will allow us to remove it,” the Ohio Republican said to reporters in his weekly news conference. “The president insisted on the sequester none of us wanted, none of us like it, there are smarter ways to cut spending.”
It’s frightening how little Boehner understands about this policy. He’s the Speaker of the House, for goodness sake.
First, the president didn’t “insist on the sequester.” That’s just crazy.
Second, if “none of us” want this stupid policy, it’s within Boehner’s power to stop the cuts that are hurting the country on purpose. For reasons that only make sense to him, the Speaker refuses.
Third, Boehner’s argument is that he’ll stop deliberately undermining the country when Obama “agrees to cuts and reforms.” But Obama has already approved $1.5 trillion in spending cuts, and offered Republicans even more. So far, GOP officials have offered no comparable concessions.
And finally, there’s the problem Boehner doesn’t like to talk about: he has no alternative.
In effect, he’s saying, “When Obama agrees to make me happy, I’ll agree to end the pain.” And what would make Boehner happy? He won’t say – Obama is supposed to just offer Republican goodies, in the hopes that the House Speaker will eventually say he’s satisfied and turn off the policy that’s hurting the country on purpose.
Maybe Boehner should take a moment to consider how he defines the nature of “public service.” Does he seriously believe he’s acting in the nation’s best interests by pushing a policy both parties hate and is clearly undermining economic growth and job creation?