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Outside of the Republican media bubble and Bob Woodward's night terrors, I don't think there's been any doubt that Republicans, not President Obama, are the ones insisting on implementing the sequester's automatic spending cuts, but until Wednesday afternoon, I hadn't heard House Speaker John Boehner admit it.
The big moment happened during an an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper on Tapper's new show, "The Lead." Boehner initially tried to blame President Obama for the sequester, saying that "he forced this process [sequestration] to occur." Then something truly unexpected happened: Tapper pointed out that President Obama didn't want the sequester cuts ... and Boehner conceded the point:
Well, no, he didn't want the cuts. But, uh, we have the sequester as a result of his demands. And I've told my colleagues in the House that the sequester will stay in effect until there's an agreement that will include cuts and reforms that will balance the budget over the next ten years.
So the good news is that Boehner admits the obvious fact that the President Obama didn't and doesn't want the sequester cuts to occur. Nonetheless, he insists on blaming the president for the sequester, a position that makes absolutely no sense given that he also says the president doesn't want the sequester cuts. Moreover, Boehner made it clear that while the president doesn't want the sequester cuts, Boehner does—and that he'll insist on keeping them in place until even harsher budget cuts are enacted. (To achieve balance, the House budget plan cuts an additional $4.6 trillion on top of the $1 trillion in sequester cuts.)
Basically, Boehner just give his stupid #Obamaquester blame game a big old kiss goodbye. Now that he's admitted that President Obama doesn't want the sequester but that Republicans do, he's taking full and complete ownership. And unless he changes his mind, the only way we'll be able to get rid of the sequester is by winning the 2014 elections.
Originally posted to The Jed Report on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 01:53 PM PDT.