Is anyone else getting a little bit tired of the President of the United States continuing to blame Republicans for sequestration?
Time for some flashback —
On November 21, Obama gave a speech explaining the failed Super Committee. He discussed the automatic cuts to the defense budget (sequestration) and the need for a balanced approach (cuts and taxes for the wealthy) to deficit reduction.
Standing firmly behind the automatic cuts, Obama then vowed to veto any efforts to undo sequestration. The video and link below comes from whitehouse.gov
“Already some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic spending cuts. My message to them is simple: No, I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending. There will be no easy off ramps on this one”
Fast forward a year to the tail end of the Presidential election season. Two major media sources, Politifact and Washington Post, both examined the source of sequestration and found it to have originated in the White House.
They were responding to Obama’s new claim during the 2012 Presidential debates that it was Congress who was responsible for the looming sequestration. Both media sources rated Obama’s blame claim as “mostly false””.
Politifact (Tampa Bay Times): Barack Obama Says Congress Owns Sequestration Cuts
Obama said that the sequester — and the defense cuts that would result from it — was not his proposition. “It is something that Congress has proposed,” he said in the debate.
But it was Obama’s negotiating team that came up with the idea for defense cuts in 2011, though they were intended to prod Congress to come up with a better deal for reining in the deficit, not as an effort to make those cuts reality.
Meanwhile, members of both parties in Congress voted for the legislation that set up the possibility of sequestration. Obama’s position is that Congress should now act to avoid those across-the-board cuts.
Obama can’t rightly say the sequester isn’t his, but he did need cooperation from Congress to get to this point. We rate the statement Mostly False.
Washington Post: “Obama’s Fanciful Claim the Congress ‘Proposed’ the Sequestration”
No one disputes the fact that no one wanted sequestration, or that ultimately a bipartisan vote in Congress led to passage of the Budget Control Act. But the president categorically said that sequestration was “something that Congress has proposed.”
Woodward’s detailed account of meetings during the crisis, clearly based on interviews with key participants and contemporaneous notes, make it clear that sequestration was a proposal advanced and promoted by the White House”
So, let’s review:
— Obama’s administration proposed sequestration.
— Obama was willing to veto any effort to get rid of sequestration if he didn’t get his tax hike for the wealthy — which he finally got as a result of the Fiscal Cliff negotiations; that was the revenue side of the “balanced approach”.
— Now that the actual threat of sequestration remains high and the public is exceedingly worried about its implementation, Obama is patently changing the narrative and is currently passing the blame to Republicans.
— Obama’s administration proposed sequestration — what are Obama’s alternative cuts to avoid it?
Update: Today, Washington Post’s Woodward Confirm’s Obama’s Sequestration, and that Obama has “moved the goal posts”