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Obama Calls on Congress To Delay Sequestration

During a press conference Tuesday (Feb. 5), U.S. President Barack Obama called on Congress to kick the sequestration can “a few more months” down the road by passing a stopgap package of tax hikes and spending cuts, the Washington Post and others reported.

Obama did not outline a specific proposal, and he said he still favored a broad deal of spending cuts and tax changes — which would eliminate deductions and loopholes that benefit the wealthy and certain industries — to replace the sequester.

“If Congress can’t act immediately on a bigger package, if they can’t get a bigger package done by the time the sequester is scheduled to go into effect,” Obama said in the White House briefing room, “then I believe that they should at least pass a smaller package of spending cuts and tax reforms that would delay the economically damaging effects of the sequester for a few more months.”

To delay the sequester for several months, any plan passed by Congress would have to reduce borrowing by tens of billions of dollars through a combination of alternative spending cuts or tax increases. The White House said it would work with Congress on crafting the package.

Politico.com reports that Obama's tax-and-spend proposal is dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

House Speaker John Boehner slammed the plan before Obama even spoke, suggesting that new revenues should not be part of any deficit-reduction package, short-term or long-term

“We believe there is a better way to reduce the deficit, but Americans do not support sacrificing real spending cuts for more tax hikes,” the Ohio Republican said in a statement.

Top Republicans in the House echoed Boehner’s sentiment after the president’s remarks Tuesday.

  

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