The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Sequestration

The Politics of Sequestration









The drama continues to unfold as the nation nears March 1 and the across the board spending cuts which will follow.  Perhaps one of the few people in Washington D.C. feeling some relief this week is Leon Panetta.  The Defense Secretary’s replacement, embattled former Senator Chuck Hagel, was confirmed yesterday in a 58-41 vote.  Hagel will assume the office of Defense Secretary just as the department begins to endure $46 Billion in budget cuts. Peter Grier of The Christian Science Monitor examines the political consequences of the drawn out confirmation for a Defense Secretary with an immediate budget fight on his hands. [CSM]

Not everyone on Capitol Hill is overly concerned about the sequester however.  Tom Coburn (R-OK), accused the President of exaggerating the possible effects of the $85 Billion cuts while appearing on the Sunday morning talk show circuit.[CBS]

Meanwhile, the Speaker of The House provided us with one of the better sound-bites of the week if not the entire sequestration fiasco.  John Boehner (R-OH) was venting some frustration with perceived inactivity on the part of the Senate to agree on a plan to avert the sequester.  Mr. Boehner suggested that the House of Representatives, which has passed two sequester replacement measures, shouldn’t have to pass a third before the Senate gets “off their ass” and passes one.[Politico]

It seems as the pot starts to boil over in the Capitol, the public at large is beginning to feel the heat.  According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll the citizenry is becoming more engaged and discouraged.  Reportedly, 51% of respondents are less confident in the recovery of the economy as negotiations drag on without a solution in sight.   Though the possible cuts seem to have hurt consumer confidence, 53% suggested that they favor similar or deeper cuts in the future.  This sort of confusion among potential voters may explain at least some of the confusion and inaction in their representatives. [The Hill]



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