Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his leadership team returned to Washington in attack mode on Monday, putting the onus on President Obama to hammer out a plan with Senate Democrats to replace $85 billion in spending cuts that will begin to take effect on March 1.
But even as House GOP leaders dug in their heels on the looming sequestration spending cuts, some rank-and-file members are looking for ways out of reductions targeting the Pentagon.
At a Capitol press conference, Boehner gave no indication the House planned to act this week if the Senate did not do so first. Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) downplayed the scheduled cuts as roughly equivalent to 28 days of federal borrowing.
“Let’s put the sequester into perspective. It is $85 billion,” McCarthy said.
“We have a spending problem in Washington. We borrow more than a trillion dollars a year. We roughly borrow $85 billion every 28 days. So what we are looking to do is cut less than what we borrow in one month — not what we spend, but what we borrow.”