White House Press Briefing 2/19/13

Q: On the sequester, we went back and checked the record. On November 21, 2011, the President, after the super committee failed, came into this room — and Republicans on the Hill were talking about coming up with other cuts to deal with, as the President calls it, draconian cuts from the sequester — they were trying to come up with other ways to deal with this. The President came in this room and immediately said he would veto such a bill to come up with other cuts. So how does he now have the credibility to say the sequester would be so awful if the Republicans were saying over a year ago let’s find another way to deal with it, and he said I’ll veto that?

MR. CARNEY: Well, Ed, I know, because you were here, that you know that’s not an actual account of what he was talking about. There were efforts underway by Republicans in Congress to replace the sequester, which was half defense, half nondefense, with cuts only in nondefense. And that was basically saying Republicans were crossing their fingers when they all voted overwhelmingly for the sequester, when every Republican leader in the House voted for the sequester, including Chairman Ryan, Speaker Boehner, and others — Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy. The fact is that that is an unfair and unbalanced approach. So, yes, we do not support undoing the sequester in a way that says, you know what, we’ll throw double the number of kids out of Head Start; we’ll make double the amount of cuts to education, to investments in research and development; we’ll cut double the number of security guards on our border. That is completely inappropriate to the task and the need here.

Full text: http://1.usa.gov/VGBvck

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