With just two days left until the sequester goes into effect, House Speakerdemanded again on Monday that President Barack Obama and the Democrats take some action to stop $85 billion in spending cuts from taking place.
Demanding that the increase in the taxes must be balanced by an equal amount in spending cuts, the Ohio congressman said that the president already has his tax increase, so he should now be focusing on spending cuts not more tax increases.
Despite warnings from both sides that the cuts will turn out to be catastrophic for the country, neither side seems to be budging over the issue as the Congress convenes once more into session after more than a week of recess. On Monday, both sides spent their time pressing on their present positions rather than trying to work towards a solution.
Congress appears to be content with the proposals they had put forth to avert the automatic cuts, before it closed for the recess. Obama had rejected both proposals calling them an “unbalanced” approach, because they did not incorporate more into tax revenues.
“Unfortunately, in just four days Congress is poised to allow a series of arbitrary, automatic budget cuts to kick in that will slow our economy, eliminate good jobs and leave a lot of folks who are already pretty thinly stretched scrambling to figure out what to do,” Obama told a bipartisan group of governors at the White House on Monday.
Obama is relying upon the governors to push their congressional members to work towards a compromise. The Republicans therefore are increasingly accusing Obama of spending more time on campaigning against them rather than showing willingness to finalize a deal.
"Instead of using our military men and women as campaign props, if the president was serious, he'd sit down withand begin to address our problems," Boehner said, referring to the warnings that some workers in the nation’s defense institutes may be laid off or will experience potential pay cuts.
Before the Congress’s recess, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, along with several other Democrats, crafted a proposal to avert the sequester that included more taxes on corporations and super rich Americans, some cuts in the defense spending and a few in the discretionary spending.
"Congress has the power to prevent these self-inflicted wounds," Reid said Monday while the Senate was in session. "We have the power to turn off the sequester."