Republicans also are pushing the “Obama sequester” as a campaign issue.
“Ami Bera’s continued support of Obama’s sequester is about to hit hardworking middle-class and military families in California,” Andrea Bozek, the communications director of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in a statement about the freshman Democratic congressman.
“By refusing to replace Obama’s sequester, Bera is again walking in lockstep with President Obama’s failed agenda,” she charged.
She didn’t mention that the Republican whom Bera defeated in a very tight race, Republican former Rep. Dan Lungren, voted for the sequester legislation.
Republicans defend the offensive by saying they had little choice but to go along, “Voting for a bill doesn’t mean you support everything in it. The president got something he wanted, and we got $2 trillion in spending cuts,” McConnell spokesman Don Stewart said. His yes vote “doesn’t mean we support it (the sequester) or that it’s a good idea.”
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel noted that Republican-authored legislation spelling out alternatives passed the Republican-controlled House last year and went nowhere in the Democrat-run Senate.
Senate Democrats are expected to offer their own plan later this week, and it’s expected to die in the House. For all the complaining about the sequester, Republicans are saying privately – and some publicly – that maybe automatic cuts aren’t such a bad thing.
If no reasonable alternative can be reached and the sequester has to go into effect, said veteran Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., “that’s actually the preferred position.”