Budgetary Blame Game: Crossfire

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, listens during a news conference following a vote at the Capitol in this file photo.

The blame game is in overdrive.

House Democrats, complaining that Congress is in recess just nine days before $85 billion of automatic spending cuts are set to take place, say they will convene an ad hoc hearing tomorrow to dramatize the impact of the so-called sequester — and blame Republicans for inaction.

Democrats are demanding a chance to vote on legislation that would replace the automatic cuts with a combination of more revenue and spending reductions, including the elimination of direct payments to farmers.

“Who is standing with their arms folded blocking the door of democracy right now? It’s the Republican Party in Congress,” Maryland Democrat John Sarbanes told reporters on a conference called convened by House Democrats to pressure Republicans to call Congress back into session this week. Sarbanes said his Baltimore-area constituents are “absolutely incredulous that we are on recess when this sequestration issue is hanging over us.”

Congress is scheduled to be in session next week.

Speaker John Boehner, the leader of House Republicans, accused Obama of inaction. “The president has yet to put forward a specific plan that can pass his Democratic-controlled Senate,” Boehner said in a statement.


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