Obama Warns Governors On Sequester: ‘At Some Point We’ve Got To Do Some Governing’

President Barack Obama urged the nation’s governors to lobby Congress to avoid sequestration cuts during a Monday morning speech to the National Governor’s Association.

Speaking from the State Dining Room of the White House, the president warned that the sequester will kill jobs and devastate the economy — and reminded the governors that “these cuts don’t have to happen.”

“Congress can turn them off anytime with just a little compromise,” Obama added. He then renewed his vow to agree to spending cuts — including “modest reforms” to Medicare — in exchange for closing tax loopholes that benefit the highest-earning Americans. With just four days to go until the sequester is scheduled to take effect, however, there have been no sustained negotiations to avoid the $85 billion in across-the-board cuts.

To help break the stalemate, the president urged the governors to speak to their states’ congressional delegations, and “remind them in no uncertain terms exactly what is at stake, and exactly who is at risk.” There is some reason to believe that the nation’s governors will be prove to be a more willing partner than Congress; over the weekend, several Republican governors spoke out to urge their congressional counterparts to protect their states from the devastating cuts.

Video of a portion of Obama’s speech is below, via NBC News:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

President Obama also urged the governors to support some of the elements of his second-term agenda that he laid out during his State of the Union address. Name-checking Republican governors such as Tennessee’s Bill Haslam, Georgia’s Nathan Deal, and Wyoming’s Matt Mead, Obama made the case that new investments in infrastructure and early-childhood education have broad bipartisan appeal.

“Democrat, Republican, blue state, red state, it doesn’t matter,” Obama said.

“At some point, we’ve got to do some governing,” the president concluded. “And certainly what we can’t do is keep careening from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis.”

President Obama’s full remarks to the National Governor’s Association can be seen here.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Pregnant woman

The Alabama Supreme Court set off political tremors last week with its decision that frozen embryos have the status of "extrauterine children" and thus are covered by a state law that permits parents to seek damages for the wrongful death of a "minor child." The implication that in vitro fertilization (IVF) cannot be practiced if embryos have legal standing led some commentators immediately to describe the ruling as a "ban." Alabama's attorney general issued a statement reassuring people that IVF providers and patients would not face prosecution, even as clinics around the state were phoning their patients to cancel procedures. There is, IVF industry representatives told lawmakers and the press, too much risk of legal liability if a clinic accidentally causes the death of an embryo by piercing it with a pipette; or if, in consultation with parents, it discards a genetically damaged embryo; or if a power failure causes freezers to malfunction. The possible lawsuits are limitless.

Keep reading...Show less
Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley

Immigration shot to the top of Gallup's February polling on what Americans say are the country's most vexing problems, finishing at 28 percent, an eight-percentage-point uptick in a single month.

Keep reading...Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}