Boehner presses president to replace sequester

Rachel Rose Hartman
The Ticket

One day after President Barack Obama called on Congress to pass short-term spending cuts and tax reform measures to avoid automatic cuts known as the sequester, House Speaker John Boehner criticized the holding off of a lasting solution to the country's debt and spending problems.

"I don't like the sequester," Boehner told reporters at a Capitol Hill briefing on Wednesday. Boehner favors implementing calculated spending cuts that would protect defense and other spending if a budget isn't passed.

Using the sequester "is taking a meat axe" to government and other programs, he added, repeating a description often used to describe how the cuts—created during the "fiscal cliff" negotiations" to force Congress to pass a budget—would be made.

Obama on Tuesday said Congress appeared unlikely to pass a comprehensive budget by the March 1 deadline. Boehner and other Republicans say the president bears responsibility for the delay.

Boehner also said on Wednesday that Obama offered no alternative to the sequester and "didn’t even tell us when we might see his budget."

He added, "Washington desperately needs some adult leadership."

The president was due to send Congress his budget Feb. 4. The Senate last passed a complete budget resolution in 2009.