questionall: Remember this when the shit hits the fan. If 218 House Republicans hadn’t voted Aye on ROLL CALL 677, the sequester would have died in Congress. ~ http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2011/roll677.xml
WITH NINE DAYS TO GO before $85 billion in automatic federal spending cuts begin, some Democrats on Capitol Hill are calling on Republican leaders to reconvene the House immediately and find a way to avert the spending reductions known as the “sequester.” Both the House and Senate are in recess this week. “This is an unnecessary self-inflicted wound on the United States economy,” Rep. Robert E. Andrews (D-N.J.) said in a conference call with other House Democrats to highlight some of the fears and adverse affects of the sequester they’re hearing about back home. “Congress should come back to Washington to fix the problem.”
Anyone want to bet that the Republicans don’t come back before Monday? And before you drink the Fox propaganda tea about this crisis being “Obama’s sequester,” let’s take a look at some FACTS from recent history:
STEVE BENEN: So, if we’re stuck in the argument GOP leaders insist on having, we might as well note they’re wrong about this, too. For Republicans, President Obama “proposed and demanded the sequester.” We know this isn’t true. Indeed, at the time, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) bragged about Republicans getting the sequester into the Budget Control Act.
JOHN AVLON: I happened to come across an old email that throws cold water on House Republicans’ attempts to call this “Obama’s Sequester.” It’s a PowerPoint presentation that John Boehner’s office developed with the Republican Policy Committee and sent out to the Capitol Hill GOP on July 31, 2011. Intended to explain the outline of the proposed debt deal, the presentation is titled: “Two Step Approach to Hold President Obama Accountable.” It’s essentially an internal sales document from the old dealmaker Boehner to his unruly and often unreasonable Tea Party cohort. But it’s clear as day in the presentation that “sequestration” was considered a cudgel to guarantee a reduction in federal spending—the conservatives’ necessary condition for not having America default on its obligations.
GREG SARGENT explains why GOP leaders are repeating falsehoods and spinning desperately:
Republicans may simply be putting on a game face about the politics of the sequester because they may view it as a necessity at this point. As you may recall, a top GOP aide told Politico recently that a government shutdown fight might be necessary for Republican lawmakers to get the need for an apocalyptic confrontation with Obama “out of their system,” i.e., for “member management purposes.” But The Hill reports that Republican aides have revised this strategy; they have decided the sequester is a better target than the government shutdown to stage this confrontation. And so the sequester is apparently necessary for rank and file lawmakers to get the need to stick it to Obama “out of their system.” Republicans have defined victory as agreeing to no new revenues whatsoever, so it’s unclear whether there’s any other way out of this for them.
And finally, and most importantly, MICHAEL TOMASKY points out something that almost everyone seems to forget: Congress passed sequestration before the president signed it, and the whole self-defeating exercise was carried out in response to Tea Party Republicans’ insistence that we play chicken with the debt ceiling, which ultimately cost America its AAA credit rating:
So fine, the White House proposed it. It did so only after months of Republicans publicly demanding huge spending cuts and refusing to consider any revenues and acting as if they were prepared to send the nation into default over spending. In other words, this was the administration’s idea in much the way that it’s a parent’s “idea” to pay ransom to a person who has taken his child hostage. There was a gun to the White House’s head, which was the possibility of the country going into default. And then, when it was all put into legislation, it was the Republicans who passed the Budget Control Act of 2011 in the House, with 218 of them voting yes. So even if administration officials proposed it, it would have remained just a proposal if those 218 Republicans hadn’t supported it (no House Democrats backed it). Most Republicans agreed at the time that the sequestration trigger was a good thing—that it would force everyone to get together and agree to a path forward and a long-term budget deal.
We all have such short memories. And by we, I mean our mainstream media and conservative base-rubes.