House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), talking to CBS News yesterday, on automatic sequestration cuts:
"Don't forget it's the president who first proposed the sequester," Ryan continued. "It's the president who designed the sequester as it is now designed."
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), talking to Fox News in August 2011, on automatic sequestration cuts:
"What conservatives like me have been fighting for, for years are statutory caps on spending, legal caps in law that says government agencies cannot spend over a set amount of money. And if they breach that amount across the board, sequester comes in to cut that spending, and you can't turn that off without a supermajority vote. We got that in law. That is here." [emphasis added]
These can't both be true. Either, as Paul Ryan said at the time, Republicans got the sequester in law, or this is all President Obama's idea.
Ultimately, Ryan and his cohorts' desperate attempts to play a childish blame game are pointless. Yes, they're factually incorrect, but that's really secondary to the larger point: the sequester is a genuine threat to the health of the American economy, military, and public. To the degree that accountability matters, it's worth realizing that Ryan and his party aren't telling the truth about the policy's origins, but it matters more that Democrats want to strike a compromise to scrap this dangerous policy and GOP lawmakers, at least for now, don't.
Indeed, the follow-up question for Ryan should be obvious: if you disapprove of the policy you think the president came up with, why aren't you making any effort at all to avoid it?
Even some of Ryan's allies find this entire line of attack silly.
This was a pleasant change of pace yesterday.
Rep. Justin Amash has a message for the masterminds of his leadership's recent fascination with the use of Twitter hashtags: forget the marketing games and get back to the substance.
Amash says he's less bothered by the hashtags themselves than by the messages behind them -- particularly "#Obamaquester," which aims to blame President Barack Obama for initially proposing the mandatory spending cuts known as the "sequester."
"I think it's a mistake on the part of Republicans to try to pin the sequester on Obama," Amash said. "It's totally disingenuous. The debt ceiling deal in 2011 was agreed to by Republicans and Democrats, and regardless of who came up with the sequester, they all voted for it. So, you can't vote for something and, with a straight face, go blame the other guy for its existence in law."
Well said, congressman.