Sequester’s “devastating” defense cuts were Boehner’s idea

So, the Daily Beast just caught John Boehner lying. Now there’s a surprise.  You might have noticed in the past several months the Republicans making this bizarre argument about President Obama being responsible for sequestration and the devastating cuts to domestic programs and defense that it will entail.

And you might have scratched your head and said, “wait a minute, Congress passed the sequestration legislation before President Obama signed it.”  You might have also noted that sequestration was the deal everyone signed on to get the Republicans to stop holding the American, and world, economy hostage.

So it might have seemed odd to you that the Republicans were now claiming that the sequestration was President Obama’s handiwork.

Well.  The Daily Beast’s John Avlon uncovered one of GOP House Speaker John Boehner’s PowerPoint presentations from 2011.  It’s a presentation that Boehner gave to House Republicans in an effort to get the buy-in of the Tea Party crazies that now run the GOP.

And what does John Boehner’s PowerPoint presentation show?  That Boehner came up with the idea of the sequestration – and the idea of including the defense budget equally in the sequestration – in an effort to woo the Tea Party crazies.

Here is John Boehner’s proposal to his Republican House caucus, including the sequester:

John Boehner PowerPoint presentation proposing sequester of defense budget, via John Avlon, Daily Beast

John Boehner PowerPoint presentation proposing sequestration of defense budget, via John Avlon, Daily Beast

Boehner and the Republicans are now running around town with big signs calling the sequestration the “Obamaquester.”  Now we know, thanks to the Daily Beast, and John Boehner himself, that John Boehner is a liar. has a list of a few other Republicans who are liars too:

Rep. Martha Roby, Feb. 16: My district is home to Fort Rucker, the primary flight training base for Army Aviation. If the president’s sequester takes effect, Fort Rucker would lose 500 students training to be combat aviators and roughly 37,000 hours of aviation training. Source: Weekly Republican Address

Sen. Mitch McConnell, Feb. 13: Take the Obama sequester as just one example. The President had a chance last night to offer a thoughtful alternative to his sequester, one that could reduce spending in a smarter way. That is what Republicans have been calling for all along, and it is the kind of thing the House has already voted to do not once but twice. We want to work with him to actually make that happen. Source: Congressional Record

Rep. John Boehner, Feb. 12: We are only weeks away from the devastating consequences of the president’s sequester, and he failed to offer the cuts needed to replace it. Source: Press release

Rep. Jeff Miller, Feb. 10: The Administration’s sequestration threatens to reduce our military’s readiness and throw our nation into another recession. Source: Newsletter

Rep. Howard McKeon, Feb. 8: Today the White House finally broke their silence on the consequences President Obama’s sequester would have on domestic spending. Source: Press release

Rep. Peter Roskam, Feb. 5: The sequester is the president’s sequester. Source: CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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34 Responses to “Sequester’s “devastating” defense cuts were Boehner’s idea”

  1. ardg65 says:

    Except that republicans actually are proposing a plan that would give Obama the power to chose where to cut and what but of course he is rejecting it:

    No mater how you want to excuse him, shield him or blame someone else, it is HIS idea and his plan. This is about politics, about getting people like you to spread the lies that republicans have brought Armageddon upon us and sway the public’s perception so that then the repubs are soundly defeated in 2014 and Obama can finish his fundamental transformation of America.

  2. Ardg65 says:

    Dear John:

    I am going to give you some education and a chance to recall this column so you can avoid the appearance of being a liar or extremely ignorant.

    It was Obama’s idea:

    Flashback: Obama promises veto stopgap alternative to sequester cuts
    One way or another!

    Remember when President Obama supported the sequester cuts?
    ‘I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts’ said he

    Jay Carney: Yes the Sequester Idea Was Put Forward by the President’s Team

    And finally Max Baucus says…
    The president originated it…

    So yes, republicans voted for it, republicans approved it in the house. Democrats approved it in the senate and the president signed it into law, that is 2 out of 3 democrat controlled institutions just in case you don’t want to do the math. Now, the slide that you show here is the presentation of the plan that BOTH Obama and Boehner hammered out, not his proposal to Obama as you make it appear but no matter what you say, he -Obama- ‘originated’ it, his team was the one that ‘put it forward’, he would “veto any attempts to undo these cuts, as some in congress are already trying to do” and “there are no easy off ramps on this one”. You are welcome.

  3. Bandobrothers says:

    You people need to do your homework. All the finger pointing and blame is media drama. The BCA-Budget Control Act WAS already signed by Your President in August 2011! It was signed by 1/3 majority vote by Democrats and the Republicans did their share. The BCA was Signed by President, in exchange for the Debt ceiling being raised. It WAS already. Done Deal. You voted for him. Live with the consequences.

  4. Ford Prefect says:

    No, it’s not odd at all that Bill Clinton, along with the Republicans, set us up for the fiscal crisis. There’s nothing “odd” about that at all. Criminal, perhaps. Corrupt, most definitely. Back then, I wasn’t “prickly.” I was mad as hell. From NAFTA all the way through to repealing Glass-Steagal. You wanna talk about Republicans, let’s start with Clinton and Obama, shall we?

    Your rhetoric is seriously fucked up, dude.

  5. Cammo Berns says:

    John you are such a disgraceful coward. You are no journalist, you aren’t even a man.

    “The sequester is not something that I’ve proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed.”

    — President Obama, in the third presidential debate, Oct. 22, 2012

    “After reviewing all the interviews and the extensive material I have on this issue, it looks like President Obama told a whopper,” Woodward said. “Based on what Jack Lew said in Florida today, I have asked the White House to correct the record.”

    Woodward’s detailed account of meetings during the crisis, clearly based on interviews with key participants and contemporaneous notes, make it clear that sequestration was a proposal advanced and promoted by the White House.

    In sum: Gene Sperling brought up the idea of a sequester, while Jack Lew sold Harry Reid on the idea and then decided to use the Gramm-Hollings-Rudman language (which he knew from his days of working for Tip O’Neill) as a template for sequester.

    We had been wavering between Three and Four Pinocchios. But in light’s of Lew’s decision to doubledown on Obama’s claim, we agree it’s a whopper.

    Four Pinocchios

  6. FLL says:

    Odd that Bill Clinton’s consistent “pro-business” bent and enthusiastic deregulation of Wall Street during the 90s would only make you “prickly,” but you would describe Obama’s imperfect handling of Bush’s near-Depression as an “abject failure.”
    Odd that.

  7. Ford Prefect says:

    No, it doesn’t. First off, you can’t or won’t read. Secondly, I do look at individuals where appropriate, but I also look at institutions first and foremost because that matters a lot more than a handful of decent Democrats who are totally outnumbered by corrupt ones. So I like people like Elizabeth Warren and a few others, but they do not control the levers of power.

    Institutional politics shows us that 95% of all House seats are Safe Seats. That rather defeats any notion that a handful of individuals can make much of a difference, doesn’t it? History also tells us that as an institution, the US Senate has always been a bulwark against democracy and socio-economic progress. There are some exceptions, of course, like the Church Committee and the one-off Watergate Committee, but you’ll noticed those types of events are not allowed to repeat in that august, if mildewy institution.

    I’m not supportive of the Party as a whole largely because of things like the complete surrender of the CPC to the larger Neo-Liberal agenda. Prior to that time, I was a loyal, if occasionally prickly Democrat. But the abject failure of the 2009-2010 years started me on the path of leaving. This last year, when Raul Grijalva lumped the entire CPC in with Nancy Pelosi’s “New Era of Austerity” remarks, I knew the gig was up and the word “progressive” had been completely destroyed in the House.

    The biggest problem with “case by case” analysis is it ignores the institutional milieu in which those races take place. Good Person X might get elected, only to be muzzled upon taking office. That may not matter to you, but it does to me, because nothing will change in such an environment. What “case by case” does do, is distract people from the bigger picture: the way our institutions operate and to whose benefit.

  8. FLL says:

    I may have missed exactly which parts of your original comment were sarcastic and which weren’t, but if I read both comments, I have to come to the conclusion that here—and always—you follow Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment: Never speak ill of a fellow Republican. Most commenters will judge candidates for the Senate and the U.S. House on a case-by-case basis. No one would think that you will use that guideline in 2014 (or any other election) by reading your comments. Your comments on this thread, and elsewhere, don’t dismiss individual congressional candidates, but rather all candidates with a (D) in front of their names. Readers can do no more than make a logical conclusion based on your writing. So your guideline for congressional races is generic, whereas mine is case-by-case. I guess we disagree.

    Does that clear things up a bit?

  9. Ford Prefect says:

    Yes, but there is also a mountain of evidence as to what Democrats want as well. Put simply, trying to blame one party is ridiculous. The GOP is worse, but even that distinction will largely disappear once Austerity kicks in and the economy tanks as a necessary result of Obama’s Grand Bargain. A bargain he has sought since Jan. 2009.

    At this point, partisanship sounds more stupid every day. You can only argue it by ignoring another set of facts which are inconvenient to your position. The Dems have the Senate and WH. Anything that happens will happen with their complete approval. Period.

  10. LilLilly says:

    How can you argue with facts?
    I mean, there’s physical evidence of what the GOP demanded – it’s right there.
    They are crushing our economy

  11. ezpz says:

    So if it was Obama’s idea, there’s a reason – a GOOD reason, but if it’s Boehner’s idea, then it’s bad?

    (For the record, I’m no republican – never was, and I’m no longer a democrat.)

  12. Ford Prefect says:

    YOu are confused on several levels. One, there was more than a little sarcasm in my comment. Two, you have flipped my place on the political spectrum to the other end.

    Three, the GOP did well in 2010 because Democratic voters stayed home to punish the Dems for behaving badly while they had both houses of congress and the WH for two years. The problem, then, is the Democratic Party being craven, corrupt and irredeemably anti-democratic. I was a Democrat for 35 years, until just last year. I left because the Democratic Party is now 90% GOP in it’s world view (minus only the culture war BS wealthy urbane people find in bad taste, even though they’re still pretty damn bigoted in their own way).

    Does that clear things up a bit?

  13. FLL says:

    True, there’s enough blame to go around. Americans will probably try to decide who the sequester caters to. The article that you link to says:

    “…the resulting spending reductions — especially in areas like education, research and infrastructure — will be more in line with GOP priorities than Obama’s.”

    There’s the probable answer to where Americans will place the blame.

  14. FLL says:

    Yes, I understand that your Uncle Zeke and your Aunt Hattie voted in the Tea Party candidates who gerrymandered U.S. House districts, thus subverting American democracy. And, as Ford Prefect whines in his comment above, “the GOP will take it on the chin in the polls.” Boo hoo. Guess your stupid relatives are unpopular in this country these days. By the way, how do Uncle Zeke and Aunt Hattie deal with that “white rust” that you get on the aluminum siding on mobile homes? I hear there are some “aluminum brightener” products that can help.

  15. FLL says:

    The midterms elections of 2010 gave the Tea Party their highest level of clout. Bet you liked that, didn’t you? And now, Americans are expressing buyers remorse because the state-level Republican governments resulting from the 2010 elections were able to gerrymander U.S. House districts for the next decade. So now, your fellow Americans are pissed at the Republicans (as well as Republican trolls on Internet boards), or as you put it, “the GOP will take it on the chin in the polls.” And we’re all supposed to sympathize with you and your stupid Republican relatives because the GOP is unpopular? Don’t forget to say hello to your Uncle Zeke and your Aunt Hattie… and tell them to piss off.

  16. Steve in Austin says:

    What do you mean by driving the economy into the toilet? Oh, you mean the 2.2% cut? and please review the cammo berns post and watch the you tube video. Obviously you are low information, and what do you mean by allowing him to destroy everything before? Do you mean cuts? I hardly believe a 2.2% cut would destroy anything, and what cuts has Obama and the dems proposed? This sequester was a bipartisan effort, signed by the prez and defended by the prez. Get some info before you post.

  17. Steve in Austin says:

    Amen my brother!!! and nicho, kamanot and lynchie, your liberal ignorance is typical…just want to bash because you have nothing intelligent to say…..

  18. Steve in Austin says:

    John Aravosis is just another in a long line of amateur political hacks hell bent on smearing the Republicans and the tea party. Pure journalistic malpractice. And what specifically do you mean when you say “the Tea Party crazies that now run the GOP? Shouldn’t you attack the dems in the same way by writing “the left wing liberal ignorant kooks that control the democrat party”? The tea party doesn’t control anything, but I wish they did when it comes to spending — at least they are trying to be responsible adults. They are really the only ones wiling to stand up to Washington. I wish you would stand up, but instead you just rubber stamp what they are doing to the country by writing crap like this. Who gives a darn on who came up with the sequester? The fact remains that the dem controlled senate passed it, and the great liar-in-chief signed it, and the prez even stood up before the American people in a 2012 campaign speech and said that he supported it and would veto any legislation that would try to stop or change it, but you didn’t bother to mention this in your slanted piece of crap to your low information audience. On top of it, you didn’t even dig into what the sequester is about, you just want to attack the republicans. How about this? It is $85 billion of the $3.8 trillion proposed outlay — a 2.2% overall reduction, making it $78 billion less than last year. I heard that most of the cuts are in defense, so you libs should be happy with it. Of the $1.26 trillion in discretionary spending, $85 billion is 6.7% — I couldn’t find how much is actually defense but if it is 50% is, then $42.5 billion of the remaining $565 billion is a 7.5% cut. It would leave $523 billion. If you don’t want to cut all the programs that the dems are now crying about, then where do you cut? Where is the president’s proposal? All he talks about is blaming congress and the republicans, but where is his leadership? We have $800+ billion in social security outlays in the budget. Don’t you think it is time for entitlement reform? So much to investigate and write about and all you come up with is Boehner is a liar?….weak, man…weak…but given your proclivity for drivel, I suspect you will be a featured writer soon on HuffPo….you journalists are going to kill this great country…Please start standing up for us and take a critical look at the president for once and write a propaganda-free article for once .

  19. MyrddinWilt says:

    The sequester was Obama’s idea FOR A WAY TO STOP THE GOP HOUSE TANKING THE ECONOMY.

    What is rather worse is that Boehner rather obviously believes the alternative universe he has created is true and that when the federal government starts shutting down next week people who don’t watch Fox News are going to be blaming Obama for the consequences.

    It really does not matter who thought of the sequester. What people are going to be comparing is the proposals for ending it. So far the GOP proposal has been to ditch the militarism cuts to make even deeper cuts in programs that actually have value.

    I think it is going to be rather easy for Obama to win an argument on the military cuts when Congress is refusing to cut manufacture of new tanks that the Pentagon says they don’t need because they already have 3000 of them and any new ones will go straight to the boneyard for storage.

  20. Ford Prefect says:

    Oh, sure it is. It just means that Democrats agree with Republicans 98% of the time.

  21. karmanot says:

    Oh my, aren’t you just the crabby appleton.

  22. karmanot says:

    Except, that the politicos who bring us this disaster have golden parachutes.

  23. It would be nice. However, Boehner said he got 98% of what he wanted in the sequester negotiations. Doesn’t sound to bi-partisan to me.

  24. BeccaM says:

    When you’re about to drive off the side of a bridge, it’s never productive or useful to get into an argument as to whose idea it was to do it in the first place. Especially when the impending plummet required the active consent of both parties involved.

  25. Ford Prefect says:

    Okay, so it’s Boehner’s idea. So I’m guessing the Democrats in congress and Pres. Obama had guns to their heads or something? If Obama didn’t like the idea, he didn’t have to sign it.

    No worries though. The GOP will take it on the chin in the polls, so there’s that. BO and the Dems will get a pass, so all’s good, right? That’s why the Dems aren’t exactly sweating bullets on this one, no matter how many poor people get kicked in the groin.

    Manufactured crisis seems one of the few things (aside from extrajudicial murder, torture, economic sabotage and so on) that both parties agree on. Shouldn’t we be celebrating bi-partisan unity instead?

  26. duh... says:

    U left wingers need to stop trusting the president so much, u didnt trust a word bush said so why believe everything out of this guys mouth? Afraid of being labled racist or something? Seriously lefties are brainwashed, mentaly ill people who dont understand any history or the economy. Is europe not a good enough example of what these socal programs can do when run amuck? The left makes me sick, Stop destroying the best country in the world you a holes.

  27. nicho says:

    Wow — the meds are late today? Ring for an attendant.

  28. lynchie says:

    go crawl under a rock where you belong. You sound like you believe in ghosts too

  29. Cammo Berns says:

    Published on Feb 19, 2013

    President Obama in November of 2011 threatened to veto efforts by lawmakers who might be looking for a short-term fix to avoid automatic spending cuts. Just amusing that its that kind of measure that he’s pushing Congress to adopt now that the deadline for the sequester cuts is less than two weeks away.

  30. Your piece shows both your Ignorance and your liberal hypocrisy, as usual…spin that lie – the zombies don’t care, as they will gladly follow Obama into the abyss with the hatred this divisive impostor has instilled into America.

  31. Naja pallida says:

    Boehner, and other Republicans, have been all over Twitter complaining that it’s all Obama’s fault. Yeah, it’s Obama’s fault because he didn’t want to let you drive the entire economy into the toilet. If only he had allowed you to destroy everything before, we wouldn’t have come to this!

  32. ezpz says:

    Depends who you ask…

    Frank James:

    It is true that sequestration was the Obama administration’s idea. White House officials proposed it as part of the agreement that resolved the 2011 debt ceiling fight. It was meant to act as a spur to make a bipartisan supercommittee reach an agreement on a package of spending cuts and tax increases that would reduce the national debt over time….

    While Boehner may have pitched it, Obama proposed it. There’s blame enough for all of them.

  33. pappyvet says:

    With the wingnuts it seems that everything is on the table until the President agrees with it. There they go repeating over and over that it is “Obama’s sequester.” Same old redirection and the lets face it, the “tribe” isnt really fooled, rather they are active participants in the lies and deceptions. They have been fed a constant stream of exactly what they want, hatred and the desire to kick somebody.

    The fact that Congress passed the sequestration and that Boehner had presented it in 2011 will not matter to these people one bit. He could have presented it last week.

  34. nicho says:

    Well, you couldn’t have them calling it the “Boner Sequester.” That just sounds wrong.

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