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Boehner Doubles Down On Sequester In Hopes Of Avoiding Shutdown

Memo Pad Politics

Boehner Doubles Down On Sequester In Hopes Of Avoiding Shutdown


House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) reportedly pitched his caucus on a plan to lock in sequester cuts, in a move that reveals how the Speaker hopes to avoid a politically calamitous government shutdown in the fall.

During a Thursday night a conference call with House Republicans, Boehner laid out his plan to pass “a short-term continuing resolution that keeps the government running and maintains current sequester spending levels.”

“The president is desperate to get rid of the sequester… so desperate that he says he’ll shut down the government if Congress follows the law and funds the government at the levels his sequester mandates,” Boehner said, according to a Roll Call report. “The president’s threat to shut down the government if we implement his sequester is not a defensible position. The American people won’t stand for it, and we’re not going to be swayed by it.”

“Our message will remain clear,” Boehner added. “Until the president agrees to better cuts and reforms that help grow the economy and put us on path to a balanced budget, his sequester — the sequester he himself proposed, insisted on and signed into law — stays in place.”

Putting aside the factual inaccuracies in Boehner’s statement — budget sequestration was clearly not a unilateral decision by the White House, and the president has repeatedly offered deficit reduction plans to end the harsh automatic spending cuts — Boehner’s statement sheds some light on how he hopes to navigate the budget battle that will consume Congress when it returns from recess.

By signaling his intention to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government running under sequester levels, Boehner is tacitly rebuking the Republican plan to shut down the government unless Obamacare is completely defunded. Instead, Boehner said “We will also continue to implement the plan to stop Obamacare that I outlined last month” — which focuses on delaying Obamacare’s implementation, rather than trying to totally destroy the law. Evidently, the Speaker agrees with the bipartisan multitude of pundits who believe that a government shutdown would be a political disaster for House Republicans.

Even if House Republicans back down from their government shutdown plan, there is still a chance that they could revisit their attempt to defund Obamacare in late October or early November, when Congress must raise the debt limit to avoid defaulting on the nation’s debt. Indeed, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor suggested just such a move this week. Given that President Obama has repeatedly insisted that he won’t negotiate over the debt limit again — and that Speaker Boehner has admitted that failing to raise the debt ceiling would cause a global economic disaster — it seems unlikely that Republicans can gain any leverage from threatening default, however. Despite their best efforts, Obamacare will remain — as Boehner himself put it — the “law of the land.

Meanwhile, as Speaker Boehner urges his caucus to “focus on the victory of the sequester,” the steep cuts continue to have a devastating effect around the country.

Photo: Medill DC via Flickr.com

Henry Decker

Henry Decker was formerly the Managing Editor of The National Memo. He is currently an Online Associate at MRCampaigns.

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  1. Dominick Vila August 23, 2013

    Boehner and the GOP leadership are trying to extricate themselves from the position they put themselves in without losing face. Moreover, he is trying to satisfy his base by giving the impression that they are trying to defund Obamacare when in fact they are trying to reach a budget compromise.

  2. charleo1 August 23, 2013

    Okay! See if I got this straight. The President’s sequester level spending, that
    he proposed. He is now so desperate to get rid of, he may veto the bill that funds
    the government, causing a shutdown. But on the other hand, the speaker urges his
    Party to, “focus on the victory of the sequester.” What a masterful display of talking
    out of both sides of his mouth at once! I give you my special one finger salute, Sir!

  3. Pamby50 August 23, 2013

    Wow! The sequestration cuts aren’t bad enough, we’re going for more. Oh, and we’re going to shut down the government to get rid of Obamacare. If we cause a global crisis, so be it. Who can possibly take these nut jobs seriously.

  4. 4sanity4all August 23, 2013

    Speaker Boehner, go pour yourself another drink, and go back to the tanning bed. Leave the governing to people who actually know what they are talking about, and can speak without contradicting themselves, or lying about their intentions.

  5. docb August 24, 2013

    The repub baggers ‘Kill All Votes but white ones’ bills’, ‘Rip Families Apart’ bill, and ‘Screw the Nation with Hostage taking and fake budget bills’ will not stand..There is real anger out there and it is not the tea baggers…but citizens.. Lying about PPACA is not playing well either… Yell them down at every opportunity!

    1. Todd A Scheller August 24, 2013

      Yeah, PPACA is so good, that implementation had to be delayed. Okay, that is the Republicans fault how?

      1. Independent1 August 24, 2013

        Absolutely!! So many red states have refused to implement the ACA exchanges that how can you enforce a federal law that says everyone is required to have insurance or pay a penalty??? Virtually every problem facing America is the GOP’s fault. Stalling on passing either of Obama’s jobs bills (he submitted 2) so millions of people are suffering on employment who could be working and the economy is not recovering as quickly as it should. Which means that the debt keeps climbing faster than it would be if more people were working, which they aren’t because the GOP has used the filibuster more than 420 times over the past 3 plus years to prevent America from moving forward, which has….and I could go on and on. The GOP is America’s major disaster!!!!

        Do you have insurance? Or are you one of he leeches who has chosen not to buy insurance so you can foist the cost of your health care on me and millions of other taxpayers by running to the ER when you need medical care??? I’ll assume you have insurance – if you do, Obamacare has already saved you hundreds of dollars. How, by slowing the rate at which insurance premiums have increased over the past 3 years (since ACA was enacted). Insurance industry analysts project the premiums insureds are paying today would be 25-45% higher had ACA not been enacted. That means that without ACA, you could be paying $800/mo for insurance that you’re really only paying $600 for today because ACA KEPT THE PREMIUMS DOWN!! Someone paying $600/mo now for insurance is saving $2,500 plus/year over what they would be paying had ACA not been enacted.

        1. Todd A Scheller August 24, 2013

          Obama has not submitted a bill since being elected President. The Constitution does not allow him to. He is only allowed to submit a budget. The House passed TWENTY-FIVE jobs bills, none of which were brought to the floor of the Senate.
          As to PPACA (it’s proper shortining as ACA is the American Correctional Association) was passed by both houses of Congress before the members could read it. Do you not remember Speaker Pelosi stating that they had to pass it before we could know what was in it. Maybe if they actually read it there would be no delay.
          Would love to see your proof for these monitory statements. Because my insurance has gone up every year since the passage of PPACA.

          1. Independent1 August 25, 2013

            Sorry but you’re wrong. Here’s the link to the American Jobs Act that Obama submitted to the House over 2 years ago and which they’ve been sitting on ever since:


            Every jobs bill the House has passed has included large subsidies to Big Oil and Agri Business with cuts for social programs which the House knew full well would never get by the Senate – they were just one more way for the GOP to stall and waste millions of dollars ontop of the more than 50 million they’ve wasted passing worthless repeals of ACA more than 40 times.
            Sure your insurance has gone up, insurance premiums go up EVERY YEAR. But they’ve gone up at the slowest rate the past 3 years of any yearly increases in the past 15 years.

          2. Todd A Scheller August 25, 2013

            Sorry, you are wrong again. That was a legislative proposal, not a bill, but nice try. HR-12 was submitted by John Larson and was part of that legislative proposal, the other one was S1549 submitted by harry Reid.
            WHAT PART OF ACA IS THE AMERICAN CORRECTIONAL ASSOCIATION ARE YOU NOT GETTING? The name of the bill was Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, thus PPACA. States were not REQUIRED to join the exchange, they could create their own.
            You are also lying about the jobs bills passed by the House.
            The REINS Act (H.R. 10) – Pledge to America legislation and a key part of the Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators – requires Congressional approval of any major government regulation.
            The Workforce Democracy & Fairness Act (H.R. 3094) passed last week stops the Obama administration’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from circumventing Congress to allow job-threatening “ambush” union elections.
            The Regulatory Accountability Act (H.R. 3010) and Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act (H.R. 527) minimize costly red tape and excessive federal restrictions that hurt small businesses.
            NPR says the Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act (H.R. 2930), bipartisan “crowdfunding” jobs bill passed by the House in November, “removes barriers to doing business” for job creators.
            The upcoming Jumpstarting Opportunity with Broadband Spectrum (JOBS) Act would help create jobs, reduce our spending-driven deficit, and bolster emergency response infrastructure.
            Republicans also identified extending the payroll tax break as a potential area of common ground with President Obama’s jobs plan. Republicans believe it must be paid for – without adding to the debt or imposing a job-crushing tax hike on small businesses – so that it does not accelerate Social Security’s looming bankruptcy and do more damage to our economy.
            Total increase in my insurance for the three years prior to the passage of PPACA, ZERO.
            Lie to us more please.

          3. Independent1 August 25, 2013

            Talk about lying! Whether it’s technically a “bill” or a “legislative proposal” – the House HAS IGNORED IT for over two years!! And you’ve grossly exaggerated and distored virtually every comment you’ve made which is typical of a GOP lover and also as a typical GOP lover, you’ve taken the discussion way off the garden path into the neverland to distract from the reality that Obamacare is succeeding famously in virtually every state that has made an honest effort to make it work. BUT!! unfortunately the GOP seems to be totally devoid of doing anything HONESTLY, as the term HONEST REPUBLICAN has become an oxymoron.

          4. Mike Maricle August 25, 2013

            Inde, I wish I could give you 10K up votes for that.

          5. Independent1 August 25, 2013

            Thanks Mike! I appreciate that.
            And I didn’t even ask Todd to explain to me why the GOP loves the NRA so much. According to the NRA, gun ownership is suppose to make you safer. If that’s the case, why are all 20 of the states with the highest firearms mortality rates GOP Run States? The majority of them with the highest gun ownership rates in the nation. And if gun ownership makes one so safe, why is it that of the 30,000 gun deaths in America each year, less than 3% of those deaths were justified homicides due to self protection? Exposing just one more NRA lie which the GOP promotes- owning a gun doesn’t make you safer – it increases the odds of the owner or someone else living in the home (most often a woman or child) of being killed by a gun owned by that home.

          6. Todd A Scheller August 25, 2013

            Congress can only consider and pass a bill. I suggest a class in Civics 101.

          7. Independent1 August 25, 2013

            There you go again, getting into technicalities!! Just coming up with one more excuse for the GOP’s DO NOTHING failures. You and I both know that until Barak Obama was elected and the GOP determined itself to make whatever he wanted fail, presidential proposals were the vast majority of the time turned into bills by Congress.

          8. Todd A Scheller August 25, 2013

            You are getting your knickers in a twist over two bills, and ignoring the TWENTY-FIVE that they did pass, that the Senate sate on. Do you know what hypocrisy means?
            Obama’s proposal was turned into TWO bills genius, one in the Senate by Harry Reid, they read it twice. Reid controlled what got to the floor, not even his own bill made it. In the House, It was a bill introduced by John Larson. You are proving your lack of intelligence with each and every post.
            So the House did not pass the JOBS Act? Obama did not sign it into law? Oh wait that was introduced by a REPUBLICAN.

          9. Jon Savage August 28, 2013

            wow 25 bills???????? WTF???? that has been 1 month in past congresses

          10. Todd A Scheller August 28, 2013

            Versus TWO proposed by the President. Comparison is not your strong point is it.

          11. Independent1 August 25, 2013

            And tell me this Mr. Scheller, if the GOP is so great, why is it that GOP run states generally rank very poorly in many subjective measures?? Let’s just go through a few:
            – Why Is it 21 of the 23 states that have more than 15% of their population struggling with incomes below the poverty level ARE ALL RUN BY THE GOP?
            – Why is it that 12 of the 15 states with the highest rates of homicide are also run by the GOP. With Louisiana being by far the murder capital of America with Mississippi #2 and on and on??.
            – Why is it that South Carolina, Tennessee, Nevada, Louisiana and Florida, all GOP run states lead the nation in violent crime??
            – Why is it that of the 25 states in the nation with the highest highway fatality rates – ALL ARE RUN BY THE GOP??
            – Why is it that of the 15 states that have the highest infant mortality rates in the nation ALL ARE RUN BY THE GOP???
            – Why is it that the red state which most Republicans probably look to as a shining light for the GOP, Texas, which is the second largest economy in America behind California, is nothing more than the cesspool of America – it ranks in the bottom 5 in almost EVERY SUBJECTIVE MEASURE when compared to other American states?? Even though the GOP has had well over 15 years to turn it into something other than a job creation machine that lures unsuspecting job applicants to the WORST STATE IN AMERICA!!!!!
            – And why is it, if GOP governance is so great, that of only the 17 states that suck the least amount of government dollars from Washington, that ONLY 3 OF THEM are GOP run states?? And that all 10 of the states that send the most tax money to Washington and get the least help back from the government ALL OF THEM ARE BLUE STATES????

          12. Todd A Scheller August 25, 2013

            Try and learn what words mean before you use them, try looking up the word SUBJECTIVE.
            Why is it you ask a lot of assertive questions and provide no proof?
            As to objective measures, lets look at some:
            Job Creation from June 27, 2013:
            #1 North Dakota- Republican Governor
            #2 Texas- Republican Governor
            #3 Utah- Republican Governor
            #4 Tennessee- Republican Governor
            #5 Louisiana- Republican Governor
            Population growth (effects tax base):
            #1 North Dakota- Republican Governor
            #2 Texas- Republican Governor
            #3 Utah- Republican Governor
            #4 Colorado- Democrat Governor
            #5 Alaska- Republican Governor

            Where was Texas in those two, oh yeah right #2. Want to compare tax rates by state and see where GOP states end up?

            You have a few issues with some of your rankings, Arkansas is #3 in traffic deaths, it has a DEMOCRAT as Governor, #4 Montana has a Democrat Governor, #7 Kentucky has a Democrat Governor, #9 West Virginia has a Democrat Governor, shall I go on to prove you are a liar?

            Plese provide links for the rest of your facts, if not then you are lying about them too.

          13. Independent1 August 25, 2013

            Gawker rates states – sure on a conservtive (money means everything) bias based on what it considers of value which doesn’t always fit with what a normal human being would consider of value – you can rate it how you please – but from a livability standpoint Texas ranks as the cesspool of America. And governors come and go, they don’t change the nature of states very quickly. Every state you just mentioned that has a Democrat governor today (Arkansas, Montana, W. Virginia and Kentucky) are all listed in maps of red vs blue states as Red States and voted for Romney in 2012. And they all have a distinctly conservative bias by a wide margin.

          14. Todd A Scheller August 25, 2013

            Actually moron, they ranked Liberal New York as the least worst of the fifty states. So where does that leave your empty argument now?
            Who they voted for in 2012 changes that they have DEMOCRAT governors how? That means they are Governed by DEMOCRATS you idiot.
            Why is it when you lack real facts,you have to make up BS arguments? Keep your BS coming, because you are full of it.
            Arkansas is conservative? The state that had William Jefferson “I did not have sex with that women” as its Governor? Really?

          15. Todd A Scheller August 25, 2013

            Lets look at projected job growth in 2013 shall we?
            #1 Utah- Republican Governor
            #2 Nevada- Republican Governor
            #3 Hawaii- Democrat Governor
            #4 South Carolina- Republican Governor
            #5 Colorado- Democrat Governor
            #6 Idaho- Republican Governor
            #7 Florida- Republican Governor
            #8 Texas- Republican Governor
            #10 North Carolina- Republican Governor
            2 out of 10 is not bad for Democrat controlled states I guess, lol.

  6. JD Mulvey August 24, 2013

    I’ve seen this movie before: “Dr Bronzeblubber, or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Sequester.” Let’s hope this time it comes out better.

  7. Mike Maricle August 25, 2013

    During a Thursday night a conference call with House Republicans, Boehner laid out his plan….LIE, LIE, and LIE somemore!

    1. plc97477 August 26, 2013

      Same old, same old.

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