President Obama Presses Congressional Republicans to Avert Sequester

Obama Budget Fight SequesterBy JULIE PACE

WASHINGTON -- Facing yet another fiscal deadline, President Barack Obama is urging congressional Republicans to accept more tax revenue in order to avert looming, across-the-board budget cuts due to take effect in less than two weeks.

Obama, fresh off a three-day Florida golfing trip, was to press his case during an event at the White House on Tuesday morning. Emergency responders, a group of workers the White House says could be affected if state and local governments lose federal money as a result of the cuts, were joining him.

The $85 billion in cuts, known as the sequester, will start taking effect on March 1 unless Congress acts. The White House says the sequester could derail an economy still suffering from high unemployment and sluggish growth.

Obama wants to offset the sequester through a combination of targeted spending cuts and increased tax revenue. The White House is backing a proposal unveiled last week by Senate Democrats that is in line with the president's principles.

But that plan was met with an icy reception by Republicans, who oppose raising more tax revenue in order to offset the cuts. GOP leaders say the president got the tax increases he wanted at the beginning of the year when Congress agreed to raise taxes on family income above $450,000 a year.

The White House said Obama on Tuesday would call on congressional Republicans to compromise and accept the Senate Democrats' proposal.

The Democrats propose to generate revenue by plugging some tax loopholes. Those include tax breaks for the oil and natural gas industry and businesses that have sent jobs overseas, and by taxing millionaires at a rate of at least 30 percent.

Meanwhile, a bipartisan proposal Tuesday by co-chairs of an influential deficit-reduction commission called for reducing the deficit by $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years, with much of the savings coming through health care reform, closing tax loopholes, a stingier adjustment of Social Security's cost of living increases and other measures.

Some Republicans, including House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., have advocated plugging loopholes, but as part of a discussion on a tax overhaul, not sequestration.

"Loopholes are necessary for tax reform," Ryan said Sunday on ABC's "This Week." ''If you take them for spending, you're blocking tax reform and you're really not getting the deficit under control."

The sequester was first set to begin taking effect on Jan. 1. But as part of the "fiscal cliff" negotiations, the White House and lawmakers agreed to push it off for two months in order to create space to work on a larger budget deal.

With little progress on that front in recent weeks, Obama is calling for the sequester to be put off again, though it's unclear whether another delay would have any impact on the prospects for a broader budget agreement.

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Bruce Mangan

I blame congress not the President for putting the american in this country in jeapergy especially the republican side and John Boehner the speaker of the house are for the rich people when your seat\'s to serve the american people rich or poor and what you elected to do and the representatives who represent their states. We the people of this rich nation that is suppose to be so rich but the republican\'s are destroying because of their greediness. We the people in this country this nation pay our fair of taxe\'s. The republican\'s and democrate\'s who are very rich pay your taxe\'s like everyone else regardless of salaries you make no one, but no one in this country get\'s away with paying their tax\'s. To Mr. President Obama in do respect no congress member\'s of the house of representative\'s including the speaker of the house John Boehner should not be paid until all of these issue\'s are complete, please remember that we the tax payer\'s pay their salaries. The member\'s of congress should have never taken a week off until all these issue\'s are complete or settled. the member\'s of congress are not in those congress seat\'s for themselve\'s their in those seat\'s to serve the american people.

February 25 2013 at 3:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bruce Mangan's comment
setanta_1

ooooh please with the diM scatology-
IF repubes are ONLY for the RICH then obummer is only for the welfare crew....and professUH ? WHO PAYS THE BILLS ?
welfare crew ?

February 26 2013 at 10:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mrspelosi

teapotparty11
WOO HOO, SCREEN NAME POLICE IN THE HOUSE AGAIN!!! s

_____________________________________

You are the screen name police dear? Does your probabtion officer know that darling?

February 19 2013 at 7:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joey

Odumbo the dem liberal lemmings lying phony inexperienced community organizer and nothing more. Just remember folks for almost the first 3 yrs of Odumbo's first term the demorats had COMPLETE control of both the house and senate and what budget did they pass - NONE.

February 19 2013 at 5:43 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
chapython

Spending is not an issue with Obama. Michelle and kids take a ski vacation, he takes a golf vacation to Florida. It doesn't matter how much it costs taxpayers for he is totally oblivious to spending controls.

I think from his perspective, if don't have it now, print more money and everything is ok.

February 19 2013 at 5:32 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Arnie

Why is he so worried about it now? He had over 4 years to avert this mess!!!!

February 19 2013 at 4:59 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
thirdherdnerd

Budgets do not come from the White House. They come from Congress, and the party that controlled Congress since January 2007 is the Democrat Party. They controlled the budget process for FY 2008 and FY 2009, as well as FY 2010, FY 2011 and FY 2012. In that first year, they had to contend with George Bush, which caused them to compromise on spending, when Bush somewhat belatedly got tough on spending increases.
For FY 2009 though, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid bypassed George Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep government running until Barack Obama could take office. At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the FY 2009 budgets.
And where was Barack Obama during this time? He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete FY 2009.
If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the FY 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets. That deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending. After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets.
PASS A BUDGET DEM CONTROLLED SENATE!”

February 19 2013 at 4:55 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
sstuczynsk

Frist of all, the sequester was Obama's idea. Now, it is the GOP's problem. Boy, does he love to shift the blame for his blunders.

February 19 2013 at 4:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
iflyf4fs

Maybe if the dems would pass a budget the problems could be worked on. This administration only wants to play blame games not solve any problems. If this was truly a crisis, obama would be on vacation anyway.

February 19 2013 at 4:30 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
JLGlaze

He wanted it and I hope the republicans and democrats give it to him. He is a know nothing, do nothing, doesn't learn from his mistakes and taking us down the tube faster than running lava. We need change, not more of the same.

February 19 2013 at 4:10 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
oilmlh

B. O.'s a slim ball. He's the guy that came up with the sequester in the first place,.

February 19 2013 at 3:33 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply