As scheduled spending cuts are set to hit on Friday, congressional Republicans are continuing to clash with the White House on how to address impending cuts. Republicans are accusing President Obama of “campaigning” and are urging him to help Congress find an alternative to the spending cuts rather than acting as a “road-show president.”
Today, President Obama is making an appearance in Newport News, Virginia, a major military community, to address the impact that the Pentagon cuts will have on the shipbuilding facility. Likewise, President Obama’s Cabinet secretaries are continuing to issue warnings about the impact of the so-called sequester if the scheduled $85 billion in cuts take effect on March 1.
The sequester, which was originally supposed to kick in January 1 and cut projected federal spending by about $109 billion per year, was delayed two months by lawmakers during the fiscal cliff negotiations. President Obama, who had initially proposed the sequester as part of the 2011 debt ceiling deal, is now attempting to delay it again. And he is in full campaign mode to do so.
House Republicans are calling out the president for taking a greater interest in campaigning than in helping to resolve the issue. Fox News reports, “House Speaker John Boehner and his deputies, emerging late Monday to field a few questions from the press, said the Virginia stop shows Obama is more interested in scoring political points than making a deal.”
House Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy has nicknamed President Obama a “road-show president.”
Furthermore, House Republican Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia asserts that President Obama is using his state visits to offer a “false choice” between passing tax increases or allowing steep cuts to take place. But the president contends the Republicans are holding up his proposal, which includes a mix of cuts and tax increases.
Republicans argue that there is still time to replace the sequester with cuts that make sense without involving tax hikes.
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Photo of President Obama: AP Images