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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:49 PM

Boner backs out of debt limit deal

Could he be bucking to be Etch-A-Sketch's running mate?

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/03/boehner-backs-out-of-debt-limit-deal.php?ref=fpa

House Speaker John Boehner lent his full support Thursday to undoing a key part of the debt-limit deal he struck with President Obama and the rest of the congressional leadership last summer.

Republicans in the House, Boehner confirmed, will advance legislation to replace automatic cuts to the defense budget from taking effect on Jan. 1. Those cuts are part of an enforcement mechanism he and a majority of his members agreed to accept, but that would only be triggered if Congress was unable to pass a significant deficit-reduction bill. They included the defense cuts, intended to force GOP cooperation and domestic-spending cuts, intended to force Democratic cooperation.

The GOP’s unwillingness to accept higher tax revenue doomed that effort, and so the automatic cuts — known technically as “sequestration” — are locked in. Now Boehner and the GOP are accelerating efforts to undo the one part of the deal that they don’t like.

“We should never have had the sequester,” Boehner told reporters at his weekly press availability Thursday. “I always thought that the Super Committee had a real chance to do good work, to produce savings so that the sequester wouldn’t kick in. I think that the sequester will hurt our Department of Defense, will hurt our ability to do what Americans believe is our most basic responsibility, and that’s to provide security for the American people. I believe that Secretary Panetta believes the same thing. And for that matter, I think the White House believes that the sequester is totally unacceptable. That’s why the House will act this spring to replace that sequester. And hopefully in some time near in the future the Congress will really act to deal with our long term spending problem and our deficit problem. We can’t keep spending money we don’t have.”


Well, then, we should stop the sequestration for non-defense programs.

8 replies, 1631 views

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:53 PM

1. No surprise at all. The majority of DUers thought this would be just how it turned out.

The important thing to realize is that in politics nothing is over, even when an orange boner sings.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 03:01 PM

2. Men of bad faith

This should make obvious to all what has been obvious to some for a long time. You can't negotiate with people who are not negotiating in good faith..

If this had been a bet, Boehner would be welshing on the bet. They're now showing the entire country (and the whole world), that the word of those in the Republican party cannot be trusted.

In other words, you can't do any kind of business with these people.

Wonder how that is going to play out in terms of the way most of the country looks at them?

Historically, in this country, there is no one lower than someone that won't keep their word...

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 03:06 PM

3. you can't trust a proven liar

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 04:45 PM

4. President Obama's 2013 budget also proposes undoing the defense sequester

at the expense of domestic programs.

Published on Sunday, February 19, 2012 by The Nation
Obama’s Plan to Save the Military From Cuts—at the Expense of Domestic Programs
by George Zornick

As budget wonks comb over President Obama’s outline for fiscal year 2013, a startling White House plan has become clear: the administration is seeking to undo some mandatory cuts to the Pentagon at the expense of critical domestic programs. It does so by basically undoing the defense sequester that kicked in as a result of the Congressional supercommittee on debt. This wasn’t a featured part of the White House budget rollout, and for good reason—it undercuts the administration’s carefully crafted message of benevolent government action and economic fairness.

The process for this shift is complicated, and has been flagged by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Essentially, Obama wants to eliminate individual spending caps for both military and non-military spending, and institute one single discretionary spending cap instead. Here’s the basic rundown.

To understand how deep the retreat really is, one first needs to understand the difference between security spending and defense spending. Spending on defense applies to the “National Defense Function”—that is, the entire Pentagon budget, plus $24 billion for nuclear weaponry and environmental cleanup programs at the Department of Energy, the defense activities of the FBI, and a small handful of other defense programs. Security spending, on the other hand, excludes some of the Department of Energy money, along with some of the other FBI and small program funding—but includes the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Homeland Security and the “International Affairs” part of the budget, which is mainly State Department funding and foreign aid.

So from a progressive point of view, to cut the most fat from the military budget you want defense cuts, not security cuts—otherwise funding for veterans’ health and diplomatic efforts is also in jeopardy.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/02/19-2

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Response to sad sally (Reply #4)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:07 PM

5. Didn't Obama say he would veto any bill, doing away with the sequester? nt

 

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Response to julian09 (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:45 PM

8. He did (in November), but from the sounds of the budget talks this month,

it sounds like there's some wiggle room. If the categorization was changed - which is what the President's 2013 budget has done - to security and nonsecurity spending instead of defense and nondefense spending (where the mandatory caps are), then huge budget shifts could be made from "domestic" (nonsecurity) to "military" (security).

"The president’s budget for 2013 follows this new scheme: Obama proposes around $5 billion in spending above the defense cap, and $5 billion in spending below the nondefense cap. This would violate the current budget laws—unless the categorization was changed to security and nonsecurity spending. Then it would comply. And every year after, the distinction wouldn’t matter anyhow under one spending cap."
#####

Defense Sequestration
During this week’s budget hearings, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta vowed to work with Congress to
avert sequestration, which is set to take effect on January 1, 2013. Panetta did not outline what such a
deal might entail and also did not contradict President Obama, who has said he will veto any legislation
that would seek to avert sequestration without achieving $1.2 trillion in savings over 10 years (which was originally required by the BCA). Panetta’s comments are the first to suggest that the Administration might be willing to accept legislation to prevent sequestration that would fall short of the full savings of $1.2 trillion, but any effort to avoid sequestration by budget cuts will need to include reductions to both defense and domestic spending. He also indicated that DOD would need to begin planning this summer for the consequences of sequestration – an additional $500 billion in cuts over the next nine years. Part of this will include discussions with OMB to determine what the law actually requires. DOD believes the law requires the automatic cuts to occur in equal parts across all programs, but is talking to OBM to determine whether the cuts might only apply to broad accounts such as “procurement,” which could allow forflexibility within these larger categories as to how the cuts are allocated. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) indicated that bipartisan efforts to address sequestration will get
under way in the next several months, but will likely not be completed until after the election.

http://www.kalispellchamber.com/wp-content/uploads/Federal-Legislative-Update-March-2-2012.pdf

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:28 PM

6. Message: GOP can't be trusted.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:33 PM

7. Boner doesn't want the automatic cuts yet he says....

"We can’t keep spending money we don’t have"

What a dope.

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