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Eric Cantor’s Disingenuous Sequester Talk

Lies and misstatement of facts.
Politics • Views: 23,815

Eric Cantor has repeatedly offered tweets and statements that the House GOP has offered up an alternative to the sequester and that all the nation has to do is get the President and the Senate to consider the House passed bill:

This is one of his recent tweets on the matter:

There’s just a slight problem with his statement.

It’s completely bogus.

As anyone who remembers the hypocrisy spewing forth from GOPers over disaster aid and ultimately the failure of Congress to timely pass Sandy disaster aid, we know that once the lame duck session of the 112th Congress ended after 2012, all bills that had not yet passed died and that the 113th Congress would have to start the process anew.

In other words, it doesn’t matter that the House passed a version of a sequester bill 288 days ago. Congress did pass a sequester extender in January because the House and Senate couldn’t agree on the terms of a permanent deal to avoid the sequester cuts it imposed on itself through earlier legislative action.

And the House bills that Cantor repeatedly refers to would have been a sequester bill that offset some of the cuts by completely defunding the PPACA - that’s the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). Cantor and the GOP knows [and knew] that there was no way that the President and the Senate would ever pass defunding legislation at any point - primarily because the President won reelection and the House Democrats picked up seats in 2012.

The American people understand the situation more clearly than Cantor does.

Cantor has repeatedly made the bet that the President and Democrats would blink first and that brinksmanship would favor the GOP (and that’s after saying repeatedly that the GOP shouldn’t engage in brinksmanship through 2011). He has been wrong at every step of the way. At a time when the sequester and fiscal cliff could have been avoided last year, Cantor warned Boehner off of cutting a deal. That was a stupendous mistake on his part, and instead we’re running up against a sequester deadline that could have been avoided.

While the GOP would love to have people blame the President for the sequester, the blame actually falls on Cantor and the House GOP caucus. Their ongoing intransigence is going to have significant effects on the American economy. The effects wont be felt right away and it will depend on the federal agency or Department.

Federal agencies and Departments have leeway and discretion on how to address the coming sequester. Some may opt to push the cuts to the forefront by choosing policies that show just how important those agencies/departments/programs are.

Some agencies, like the NPS have indicated that they’re going to be forced to keep some areas of major national parks shuttered (not plowing open areas or opening campgrounds because they wont have staff to do the work - much of which is a seasonal variation).

Others, like the FAA will shift personnel and furlough those who aren’t in mission critical positions to keep the control towers and inspectors on the job.

Still others will reduce personnel available to keep overall agency/mission/program operating.

Some will reduce personnel because they have no other choice - like say PTO office staff to handle filings.

Others will attempt to continue with current staffing levels, but would face hard choices as sequester drags on, drastically reducing staffing or programs later.

The GOP is attempting to capitalize on the different approaches by different agencies as proof that this isn’t as bad as the WH is saying it would be, or that the cuts aren’t that bad, but any problems are Obama’s fault.

All the while, many within the GOP are actually happy about the cuts, since it achieves a long sought goal of curbing and reducing the size of government. Their intention is to further starve discretionary spending and programs like Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security, while protecting programs in the Defense budget.

UPDATE:
Cantor’s at it again today:

Jump to bottom

23 comments

1 Vicious Babushka  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 9:56:34am

Did Eric Cantor personally actually send out that Tweet or is that just an automated bot that increments NumDays + 1.

My guess is that it’s just a bot sent out by his office and he is probably not even aware of it.

2 lawhawk  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 9:58:18am

re: #1 Vicious Babushka

Definitely not a bot, if you look at timeline.

3 Vicious Babushka  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 9:59:51am

re: #2 lawhawk

Definitely not a bot, if you look at timeline.

Maybe not a bot, but definitely a DERP.

4 Targetpractice  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 10:00:57am

re: #3 Vicious Babushka

Maybe not a bot, but definitely a DERP.

I wouldn’t play WoW even if you paid me.

5 FriendsofHummus  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 10:01:24am

re: #3 Vicious Babushka

Maybe not a bot, but definitely a DERP.

And Eric Cantor refuses to touch the bloated military budget because he’s a squirmy little coward.

6 FriendsofHummus  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 10:04:09am

re: #4 Targetpractice

I wouldn’t play WoW even if you paid me.

Yeah. Speaking of games, finally playing ACII. THe cool thing about that series aside from gamepaly obviously is the history. I remember learning about the Medici in 10th grade history.

7 simoom  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 10:05:05am

Lawhawk, that Cantor profile in your post is actually pretty interesting. Supposedly Cantor was the main source for much of Woodward’s book, but in that New Yorker profile Cantor contradicts the main thrust of Woodward’s debt ceiling analysis:

Cantor was one of the most influential political forces in Obama’s first term. In June of 2011, the President and the Speaker began working toward a Grand Bargain of major tax increases and spending cuts to address the government’s long-term budget deficits. Until late June, Boehner had managed to keep these talks secret from Cantor. On July 21st, Boehner paused in his discussions with Obama to talk to Cantor and outline the proposed deal. As Obama waited by the phone for a response from the Speaker, Cantor struck. Cantor told me that it was a “fair assessment” that he talked Boehner out of accepting Obama’s deal. He said he told Boehner that it would be better, instead, to take the issues of taxes and spending to the voters and “have it out” with the Democrats in the election. Why give Obama an enormous political victory, and potentially help him win reëlection, when they might be able to negotiate a more favorable deal with a new Republican President? Boehner told Obama there was no deal. Instead of a Grand Bargain, Cantor and the House Republicans made a grand bet.

The bet failed spectacularly. Just as Cantor had urged, Obama and Romney spent much of the campaign debating tax and spending policies that the House Republicans had foisted on the Romney-Ryan ticket. What’s more, by scuttling the 2011 Grand Bargain negotiations, Cantor, more than any other politician, helped create the series of fiscal crises that have gripped Washington since Election Day. The failure of the Grand Bargain led to a byzantine deal: if the two parties could not agree on a new deficit plan, then a combination of tax increases and spending cuts—cuts known, in budget jargon, as a “sequester”—would automatically kick in on New Year’s Day.

8 CuriousLurker  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 10:06:50am

re: #2 lawhawk

I love how clearly you explain complicated things. You have no idea how many of your comments I’ve saved in my notes. ;)

9 Glenn Beck's Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 10:08:22am

re: #7 simoom

Cantor is one of those people whose psychology I just can’t begin to figure out. Is he a true Ayn Rand believer, or is he a Newt Gingrich power-only type? It’s really hard to tell; he acts viciously political, but he never blinks, at all, from his extremism, either.

10 Targetpractice  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 10:08:44am

re: #7 simoom

Lawhawk, that Cantor profile in your post is actually pretty interesting. Supposedly Cantor was the main source for much of Woodward’s book, but in that profile Cantor contradicts the main thrust of Woodward’s debt ceiling analysis:

At least Bob got that part right, the GOP never went into negotiations over the debt ceiling with a real eye towards an equitable deal. They figured if they couldn’t press Obama into making a deal they liked, they could just wait it out a year, win the election, and then either sweat him into signing onto a bill of their choosing in a lame duck session or get the new GOP president to sign onto their bill after the inauguration.

11 FriendsofHummus  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 10:09:37am

re: #9 Glenn Beck’s Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut

Cantor is one of those people whose psychology I just can’t begin to figure out. Is he a true Ayn Rand believer, or is he a Newt Gingrich power-only type? It’s really hard to tell; he acts viciously political, but he never blinks, at all, from his extremism, either.

I think he’s more a Gingrich power type from the little I know about him. He’s been in politics his whole career and comes from a political family. No elected officials but his folks were strong Reagan backers early on. Actually he spent sometime in Real Estate but he turns 50 this year and yet has been in some kind of office since 1992. For all the right wing disdain for government workers, that strikes me as amusing.

12 lawhawk  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 10:14:07am

re: #7 simoom

Indeed it does.

It also indicates that the GOP had no strategy for dealing with the President in case Obama won reelection in November. They appear to have completely bought into the unskewed polling methodology of dealing with reality, which is to say that they substituted their own malarkey. It was wishful thinking, and when the grand bet failed, they couldn’t back out of the corner. The House GOP caucus simply couldn’t cut a deal to replace the sequester that substituted taxes for cuts and its only attempts before November were to eliminate the PPACA funding as substitution for the cuts. It was never a serious option and the House leadership knew this.

Cantor knew this. Even Boehner knew this, but Boehner got talked out of cutting a deal (and dumping the Hastert rule) for the sake of the GOP power play.

And the end result is that the sequester is upon us.

13 CuriousLurker  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 10:15:27am

re: #9 Glenn Beck’s Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut

Cantor is one of those people whose psychology I just can’t begin to figure out. Is he a true Ayn Rand believer, or is he a Newt Gingrich power-only type? It’s really hard to tell; he acts viciously political, but he never blinks, at all, from his extremism, either.

Ugh. Cantor, like Palin, is one of those people I can’t stand the sight or sound of. I think he’s a Newt type—an opportunist who’s all about what’s to his advantage.

14 erik_t  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 10:16:54am

re: #9 Glenn Beck’s Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut

Cantor is one of those people whose psychology I just can’t begin to figure out.

If he were a Gingrichy power-only type, wouldn’t he have sought higher office than the House? I’ve never heard even a murmur.

15 FriendsofHummus  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 10:17:02am

re: #13 CuriousLurker

Ugh. Cantor, like Palin, is one of those people I can’t stand the sight or sound of. I think he’s a Newt type—an opportunist who’s all about what’s to his advantage.

That’s my impression of him being from the same state and watching him climb the leadership ranks. I think most of these guys are power types rather than true believers.

16 Bulworth  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 10:17:51am
It also indicates that the GOP had no strategy for dealing with the President in case Obama won reelection in November.

That’s pretty much been there approach to policy in general. See especially, Reform, Healthcare.

17 FriendsofHummus  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 10:18:30am

re: #14 erik_t

If he were a Gingrichy power-only type, wouldn’t he have sought higher office than the House? I’ve never heard even a murmur.

Newt never ran for governor or senate before he ran for president. Anyhow, coming from Cantor’s state, my best guess is that he knows he can’t win statewide but he can continue to win in his district and become Speaker one day which is his goal of goals.

18 makeitstop  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 10:22:38am

re: #14 erik_t

If he were a Gingrichy power-only type, wouldn’t he have sought higher office than the House? I’ve never heard even a murmur.

Could still be working up to it. He’s still pretty young.

19 Targetpractice  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 10:22:54am

re: #12 lawhawk

Plan A was always “Win White House/Senate,” where they’d use reconciliation in the Senate to pass a sequester replacement that would be totally cuts, primarily to Obamacare, and use Democrat opposition to accuse them of wanting to plunge the country back into Recession rather than embrace “reform.”

Plan B was “Lose White House, Win Senate,” which again would involve reconciliation, but now it would be sending a bill to Obama’s desk and daring him to veto it, allowing them to say that that Obama would rather plunge the country into a Recession than back down off his demands for revenues.

And Plan C was “Win White House, Lose Senate,” where they’d use the president’s insistence on addressing the sequester to pressure Senate Democrats into rolling over, insinuating in the press that any who refused to do so were doing so out of partisan loyalty.

And Plan D, which we’re seeing now, was “Lose Both,” in which they expected that the dark shadow of the sequester would be enough to scare Obama into coming to the negotiating table, where again they’d kill a deal and try to cast blame on both sides. That Obama’s refused to play by their script, and Senate Dems have his back, has left them with no where to turn.

20 CuriousLurker  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 10:23:22am

re: #15 HappyWarrior

That’s my impression of him being from the same state and watching him climb the leadership ranks. I think most of these guys are power types rather than true believers.

Exactly. I can’t stand the likes of Gohmert, Santorum, etc. either, however I do think they’re true believers and not just calculating opportunists.

21 FriendsofHummus  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 10:27:06am

re: #20 CuriousLurker

Exactly. I can’t stand the likes of Gohmert, Santorum, etc. either, however I do think they’re true believers and not just calculating opportunists.

I don’t know what bothers me more. It’s kind of like bigots- what is worse- the bigot for show or the real genuine article. I think Gohmert is the latter. I really don’t know about Santorum though to be sure after reading that story about his wife’s abortion. Plus in my observations the true believers are more limited to congressional districts rather than repping whole states though Santorum hasn’t been in office for nearly a decade

22 Romantic Heretic  Thu, Feb 28, 2013 11:25:36am

re: #12 lawhawk

And the end result is that the sequester is upon us.

It’s how revolutionaries think. The country must burn so it can be rebuilt in a proper manner from the ashes.

23 Stinky Beaumont  Fri, Mar 1, 2013 11:53:10am

Testiñg.


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