In a press conference on Tuesday, Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner stated once again his refusal to lift a finger to resolve the budget sequester, stating that House Republicans will do nothing unless “the Senate gets off their ass and begins to do something.” Boehner also criticized President Barack Obama for his attempts to educate and inform the American people on the issue.
Despite Boehner’s continued cries, the President and the Democrats in the House and Senate have all been open to working on a compromise, yet republicans have been closed to all attempts to work on a solution for the American people which balances spending cuts with tax reforms of the type which they supposedly supported just two months ago to remove many of the loopholes in the tax code which the wealthy and corporations presently enjoy.
Speaker Boehner continually lauds that House republicans have passed two bills in order to resolve the Sequester. However, his attempts to take credit for serious and recent resolution have been disingenuous. Those two bills were passed in the previous Congress and are therefore not valid and would require passage in this session in order to be moved forward. In addition, those two bills were completely of a partisan nature; House republicans refused to make any compromises as they shut out Democratic lawmakers in the creation of the bills. In fact, the now defunct bills passed in the 112th Congress would have merely shifted the military spending cuts over to even greater cuts in social programs. Such draconian cuts would have placed unfairly burdened middle class, working class and poor Americans who have already carry more than their fair share of the burden in the ongoing republican attempts to bring disastrous European-style austerity measures to the United States.
The GOP still continues to push their failed policies even though in November 2012 the American people voted overwhelmingly for the Democratic Party’s fair and balanced approach to our economic and fiscal woes. Not only did they overwhelmingly re-elect President Barack Obama to his second term after he campaigned on the very solutions to the budget sequestration which he has presently been advocating, the American people also voted for additional Democratic seats in the U.S. Senate and supported Democratic candidates over Republican candidates in the U.S. House of Representatives by more than one million votes. Republicans only continue to hold the majority in the House due to their highly aggressive and blatantly undemocratic gerrymandering tactics in many states in which they control the government.
The budget sequester was originally agreed to by all parties as a way to force Congress into creating a compromise in order to avoid the draconian cuts which if enacted could send the country into a deep recession. When first enacted, Speaker Boehner said that with the sequester agreement he received 98% of what he wanted. However, now he is running in an opposite direction from this sentiment, calling it “Obama’s sequester.”
John Boehner and his fellow republicans have good reason to be concerned that the President is taking the issue to the American people. While the Democrats have occasionally had their moments where they have strayed from their purpose in Washington D.C., they have shown that on issues affecting the economy and fiscal health of the nation, their goals presently are one in the same as the majority of Americans. Meanwhile, the republicans continue to be merely marionettes manipulated by a group of corporations and self-centered wealthy persons who would see the majority of the nation suffer for the sake of expanding their already overfilled coffers.