Well, we can’t say we’re surprised. Despite the warnings from our economists and defense leaders about sequestration’s disastrous impact, the response from Republicans is simple: we don’t care. Just see today’s article from The Hill, “GOP Lawmakers Don’t Fear Political Impact of Sequester,” where Republicans are still rooting for the irrational sequester:
“But [Rep. Bruce Lamborn] and other Republicans see the sequester as the best way possible to actually reduce government spending, which they see as the biggest threat to the nation.”
“‘The bigger concern is what is good for the country,’ said Lamborn.”
Let’s see: jobs losses, deep, indiscriminate cuts to defense, education, research, public health and more? That doesn’t seem good for our country. And yet the Republican sequester cheer squad remains in full effect:
“Conservative groups have also kept pressure on lawmakers, urging them not to waiver from their stance and predicting political advantage from the cuts taking effect.”
“‘If [Republicans] don't shy away from this, if they don't run from their own shadows and they don't [buckle] at the last minute, I think it's a battle they can win,’ conservative Heritage Action spokesman Dan Holler said.”
The battle at hand is averting the sequester. If Republicans are really focused on what is good for the country, perhaps we should remind them, again, that these cuts would be detrimental to our recovering economy and threaten our national security.
Meanwhile, we’d be amused by Speaker Boehner’s “frustration” with the Senate if it weren’t so gallingly hypocritical. If he wants action to prevent the sequester, he can take it. House Democrats have a balanced alternative to the sequester that he can bring to the Floor at any time. If he doesn’t like it, Republicans can propose their own alternative. And yet, nearly two months after the 113th Congress convened, Speaker Boehner has yet to bring legislation preventing sequester to the Floor. If anything is frustrating, that’s it.
Lastly, the Hill article also demonstrates that Republicans are in dire need of a fact check. We hate to break it to them, but it was not President Obama who created the sequester – that responsibility lies solely with them. Republicans suggested the policy in their “Cut Cap and Balance” legislation from July 2011.