House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said today that President Obama was offering “false choices” on the looming sequester, as Republicans try to cast the blame for the automatic spending cuts squarely on the White House.
Cantor said in a statement that the cuts set to go into effect on March 1 – which he agreed were neither smart nor fair – would only be implemented because Democrats refuse to restrain federal spending.
The majority leader added that, after the recent “fiscal cliff” deal raised some $600 billion in revenue, it was time for Washington to move to the spending side of the ledger.
“President Obama has said that unless he gets a second tax hike in eight weeks, he will be forced to let criminals loose on the streets, the meat at your grocery store won’t be inspected and emergency responders will be unable to do their jobs,” Cantor said in his statement.
“These are false choices. We are faced with the negative effects of the sequester because Democrats have not been able to take even the smallest step towards controlling spending.”
Cantor’s statement comes just over a week before the $85 billion in cuts would start going into effect, and as Washington observers are increasingly pessimistic that a deal to avert the cuts can be reached by the end of the month.
With Congress out of Washington this week, the president has gone on a public relations blitz in his own attempts to tag Republicans as responsible for the sequester.
Obama held an event this week with first responders, who the White House said could face furlough under the sequester, and has sat for interviews with television reporters from across the country.
Read more: THE HILL