McCarthy: GOP is like Charlie Brown; sequestration being used as leverage

Rachel Rose Hartman

What does the GOP have in common with Charlie Brown?

House Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy of California on Wednesday morning likened President Barack Obama's State of the Union address to a Peanuts cartoon, telling the hosts of MSNBC's "Morning Joe": "We're more than willing to work with the president on any issue he wants to work on, but, to be quite frank, we’re kind of tired of being Charlie Brown and having Lucy pull the football out from under us."

One of the biggest debates in Washington is the fight over the budget and the looming threat of sequestration (across-the-board, automatic spending cuts that would go into effect March 1 should another agreement not be reached). Obama and the White House maintain the sequestration was never meant to be put into practice and instead was designed to force Congress to pass a budget. Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, have publicly expressed their dislike for the sequester, especially given that sweeping defense cuts would be made.

But McCarthy on Wednesday admitted that some conservatives are willing to use sequestration as leverage—something the White House has been accusing Republicans of doing.

"Some conservatives are starting to say despite the fact there are a lot of defense cuts in there, this may be the only way we get real spending cuts over the next year," McCarthy said.

Obama called on Congress to pass a short-term budget fix in the absence of a complete budget resolution, which has a March 1 deadline for passage.