The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

President Barack Obama slammed the Republican Party for forcing “dumb, arbitrary cuts” during a Friday morning press briefing at the White House.

After a meeting with congressional leaders failed to produce any movement towards an agreement to avert the $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration, Obama pinned the blame for the stalemate squarely on the Republican majority in the House of Representatives.

“Let’s be clear, none of this is necessary. It’s happening because of a choice that Republicans in Congress have made,” Obama told the White House press corps. “They’ve allowed these cuts to happen because they refused to budge on closing a single wasteful loophole to help reduce the deficit.”

Perhaps referencing a recent poll showing that 76 percent of Americans want the deficit reduced by a combination of spending cuts and new revenues — compared to just 19 percent who agree with the Republican position that new revenues should be completely off the table — Obama stated that “we just need Congress to catch up with their own party and country with this.”

“I have offered negotiations around that kind of balanced approach, and so far we have gotten rebuffed because what Speaker Boehner and the Republicans have said is we cannot do any revenue,” Obama told a reporter who had asked if he bore responsibility for the lack of a deficit reduction deal. “So what more do you think I should do?”

“I am not a dictator, I’m the President,” Obama added in hopes of hammering home his point that his hands are tied unless the Republican Party shows some willingness to compromise. “So ultimately if Mitch McConnell or John Boehner say ‘I need to go to catch a plane,’ I can’t have Secret Service block the doorway, right?”

In addition to targeting congressional Republicans, Obama also reiterated the dangers that the deep cuts will pose to the economy. While the president acknowledged that the cuts’ impact may not be felt immediately, he vowed that “the pain will be real.”

“The economy will not grow as quickly as it would have. Unemployment will not go down as quickly as it would have. And there are lives behind that. And it’s real,” Obama said. He later added that the failure to avert the cuts is “a loss for the American people.”

Obama’s comments came after an hourlong meeting between the president, Boehner, Vice President Joe Biden, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. After leaving the meeting empty-handed, Speaker Boehner offered a short statement to reporters outside the White House. Proving Obama’s point that no real negotiations can take place at this time, Boehner reiterated his stance that “The discussion about revenue, in my opinion, is over.”

“It’s about taking on the spending problem here in Washington,” Boehner added. The Speaker continued to resist naming any specific spending cuts, however, instead choosing to once again call on Senate Democrats to write a bill — and take the political heat for the results.

With no deal in place, sequestration will formally begin on Friday before 11:59pm, whenever President Obama orders it into effect.

A portion of Obama’s comments is below, via ABC News:

Photo: AP/Charles Dharapak

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Mark Meadows

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Legal experts including a Harvard professor and a top election and voting rights attorney are weighing in on Sunday night's bombshell report from Rolling Stone naming members of Congress and the Trump administration who were involved in the planning and organizing of the January 6 rally and/or "Trump's efforts to overturn his election loss," according to two of the planners of the "Stop the Steal" rally.

Keep reading... Show less

Reps. Lauren Boebert, Louie Gohmert and Andy Biggs

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Several House Republicans—exactly the ones you would guess—were involved in planning meetings for protests on January 6 as Trump supporters tried to block the certification of the 2020 election and with it, Donald Trump's loss, two sources have detailed to Rolling Stone.
Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}