Obama says he’ll reach out to Repubs on sequester, Boehner sees no deal
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – President Barack Obama vowed to continue reaching out to Republicans in Congress to stop the automatic budget cuts called sequester in his weekly address Saturday.
“There are Republicans in Congress who would actually rather see tax loopholes closed that let these cuts go through. And I know there are Democrats who would rather do smart entitlement reforms than let these cuts go through. There’s a caucus of common sense out there. I’m gonna keep reaching out to them to fix this for good because the American people are wary of perpetual partisanship and brinkmanship,” Obama said at the White House.
The remarks came a day after he signed an executive order implementing the $85 billion in automatic “sequester” budget cuts and directing federal agencies to reduce spending.
Obama said Saturday that economists estimate the sequester will cost 750,000 jobs and slow the economy by over one-half of one percent.
He again blamed Republicans for choosing the cuts over closing a single tax loophole that helps reduce the deficit.
“Just this week, they (Republicans) decided that protecting special interest tax breaks for the well off and well connected is more important than protecting our military and middle class families from these cuts,” Obama said. “I still believe we can and must replace these cuts with a balanced approach. One that combines smart spending cuts with entitlement reform and changes to our tax code that make it more fair for families and businesses without raising anyone’s tax rates.”
Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner told NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday that he sees no path to agreement with Obama on the $85 billion automatic budget cuts.
Boehner said he still disagrees with the Obama’s demand to increase revenues by closing tax loopholes and blamed the president for refusing to match higher taxes with spending cuts.
“The president got $650 billion of higher taxes on the American people on January the first. How much more does he want? When is the president going to address the spending side of this?” said Boehner, according to The Guardian.
Obama met with Boehner and other Republican leaders in Congress on Friday at the Oval Office of the White House in a last minute effort to strike a compromise but the two sides emerged from the meeting without an agreement. The GOP leaders will only yield to closing tax loopholes if revenue was used to lower tax rates and create jobs instead of replacing the sequester spending cuts.