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Sequester opponents now losing hope
The Hill ^ | 04/27/13 08:00 AM ET | Erik Wasson

Posted on 04/27/2013 11:34:14 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

Opponents of sequestration are losing hope that the across-the-board cuts to federal spending will be reversed this year.

The defense industry, health and education advocates and federal worker unions say that the “piecemeal” approach that Congress adopted this week to ease furloughs at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does not bode well for their cause.

“All of this is rearranging the deck chairs. I’m not overly hopeful,” said Joel Packer of the Committee for Education Funding. “We are really putting our concentration on fiscal 2014 and beyond.”

Republicans and conservative groups see the White House as having “caved” this week on the FAA cuts, and are digging in their heels to keep the level of spending reductions in place.

“I think Democrats are in a corner,” said Andy Roth of the conservative Club for Growth. “It is a case-by-case deal now.”

GOP leaders in the House said they have “no plans” to bring up broad legislation to replace sequestration, according to a leadership aide. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Friday told his troops they are winning the argument over the need to cut federal spending.

“Consider that the Democrats opening position was they would only replace the sequester with tax increases. By the first of this week Senator Reid proposed replacing the whole sequester with phony war savings. And by last night, Senate Democrats were adopting our targeted ‘cut this, not that’ approach,” Cantor said in memo to his colleagues.

Conservatives said Obama’s decision to accept the FAA fix — which transfers money from airport improvements to pay for air traffic controllers — shows his attempt to pressure Republicans into accepting tax increases has failed.

"Without this crisis at hand, the Democrats are conceding that they have lost the battle over spending cuts,” said GOP strategist Ron Bonjean.

“On taxes, I suspect his leverage was slim even before the FAA fix.  Now, I’d say it is nearly non-existent,” said Dan Holler of the conservative Heritage Action for America.

Lobbyists who have worked to reverse sequestration say the GOP “victory” talk as a sign that a big deficit deal is a long ways off.

“Cantor is saying, this is exactly how we should proceed. We should cut and look at individual cases to make an adjustment,” a major defense lobbyist said. “Overall I’m not very hopeful.”

Packer of the Committee for Education Funding said Obama had indeed lost “a little bit of leverage” to get new taxes that his group sees as necessary.

“Every time Congress exempts something, more or less saying we are keeping the cuts in the aggregate. To a degree he has lost a bit of leverage,” Packer said.

The leader of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), which has fought the sequester cuts on behalf of federal workers, expressed frustration at how the debate is playing out.

“People are tired of the whole thing, if it’s not your agency that’s getting the piecemeal fix. Employees are angrier than ever,” said NTEU President Colleen Kelley. “Agencies surely shouldn’t be pitted against each other.”

She said the union wants either a grand bargain on the deficit or a broad sequester replacement to provide certainty to federal workers.

“I don’t see any action coming on any of them, and that’s the problem,” she said.

Some Republicans with ties to the defense industry are seeking a broader fix for sequestration. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) are planning to push a bill after next week’s recess that would provide more flexibility to the administration.

Liberal Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) said he would support the Inhofe approach, despite his opposition to the cuts. He said the FAA vote is a strong indication that sequestration is here to stay.

“It is bleak.  The president is pushing hard to get a comprehensive solution, but Speaker Boehner has made it very clear that he has no interest,” Welch said.

Because the effects of sequestration are cumulative, totaling around $1.2 trillion over 10 years, opponents believe time is on their side, especially as the next fiscal year begins and appropriators try to apply even lower spending caps.

“I think it foretells that Congress will have to fix multiple problems for multiple departments and agencies one at a time as new problems present themselves one by one. It's no way to govern. I think this will put pressure on Congress to come up with a long-term solution,” said Michael Herson of American Defense International.

“As sequestration unfolds, policymakers will surely try to patch the cracks by earmarking their pet priorities in a piecemeal fashion. But they will eventually realize you can’t patch everything,” said Emily Holubowich the executive director of the Coalition for Health Funding “In our society, the most powerful and vocal tend to get a pass. This is nothing new. They may be the first to get a pass. But eventually, there won’t be enough ‘get-out-of-jail-free cards’” to go around.”

Steve Bell of the Bipartisan Policy Center said that this week’s quarterly gross domestic product numbers, which were a percentage point below expectations, show that economy is beginning to be affected by the spending cuts.

“I really believe it is wrong to assume that the air traffic vote means a weakening of this effort,” he said. “I believe it is the beginning of the great unraveling of sequestration.”

“Surely the more time that passes, the more evidence there is of the impact,” NTEU’s Kelley said.

Jessica Klement, the legislative director of National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), opposed the FAA bill as a piecemeal approach.

She said that the FAA bill represented the culmination of “a very successfully PR campaign by the airlines.

“Some of the lesser known agencies would be wise to do the same,” Klement said.

“There are broader economic impacts that we saw this whole week,” she said. “This is an opportunity to show what they are worth. “

While Kelley backed piecemeal fixes when they come up in Congress, other sequester opponents said they should be avoided.

Packer said picking between education programs would be a “Sophie’s Choice.”

For now the White House agrees, at least until the national parks close or other visible effects of the sequester manifest themselves. 

“It is not credible to imagine that you can mitigate the damage done to our economy in a piecemeal, Band-Aid fashion,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Friday.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: sequestor

1 posted on 04/27/2013 11:34:14 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
“All of this is rearranging the deck chairs. I’m not overly hopeful,” said Joel Packer of the Committee for Education Funding. “We are really putting our concentration on fiscal 2014 and beyond.”

Because a couple percent here and there after years of record growth means we're all going to die! Even when implemented by those determined to make it as painful (and punitive) as possible, the general reaction seems to be very ho-hum.

2 posted on 04/27/2013 11:38:37 AM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I look forward to hearing “amnesty supporters losing hope”.


3 posted on 04/27/2013 11:39:27 AM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

>> I’m not overly hopeful,” said Joel Packer of the Committee for Education Funding.

Get a real job, Joel. I’m not overly hopeful you have any marketable skills though.


4 posted on 04/27/2013 11:40:30 AM PDT by Nervous Tick (Without GOD, men get what they deserve.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

oh just wahhh,,here’s a hankie. (to the WH, not you Ernest)


5 posted on 04/27/2013 11:40:58 AM PDT by austinaero
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Any cut. Anywhere. Any size. I'll take it.

In my opinion, no one is yet talking about the magnitude of the cuts we really need to see -- but in the meantime, I would not turn down any opportunity to cut. Any cut. Anywhere. Any size. I'll take it.

6 posted on 04/27/2013 11:40:58 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (The ballot box is a sham. Nothing will change until after the war.)
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To: austinaero
All of this whining and it is such a trivial amount.

Geez...what a bunch of whining.

H/T to Hot Air for pointing to this article.

7 posted on 04/27/2013 11:45:55 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Good. Let’s make sure the clowns lose even more hope when conservatives take the Senate back in 2014.


8 posted on 04/27/2013 11:56:06 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: Zhang Fei
Their bluff was called, exposed, and it's not pretty for the dems now that Obie's jig is up. He's been clearly caught and shown to be a manipulative lying fraud.

And why in God's name aren't our guys shouting early and often; 'THERE ARE NOT CUTS!!!" Only slightly smaller increases. All the agencies (except military) have larger budgets.

9 posted on 04/27/2013 12:03:47 PM PDT by chiller (NBCNews et al is in the tank and should be embarrassed)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
“The leader of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), which has fought the sequester cuts on behalf of federal workers, expressed frustration at how the debate is playing out.”
“Employees are angrier than ever,”

Cry me a river.
Perhaps they should consider hitching their wagon on something other than Marxism to fund their adventures.
Taxpayers are expressing frustration that they can't keep carrying the weight of ever expanding government and welfare. You Alinskied us into a corner, reap the rewards.

10 posted on 04/27/2013 12:05:47 PM PDT by bitterohiogunclinger (Proudly casting a heavy carbon footprint as I clean my guns ---)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach


11 posted on 04/27/2013 12:15:07 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Chode

“He leakin’.”


12 posted on 04/27/2013 12:24:55 PM PDT by EEGator
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13 posted on 04/27/2013 12:24:55 PM PDT by RedMDer (May we always be happy and may our enemies always know it. - Sarah Palin, 10-18-2010)
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To: ClearCase_guy
In my opinion, no one is yet talking about the magnitude of the cuts we really need to see -- but in the meantime, I would not turn down any opportunity to cut.

The sequester cuts in growth were a remarkable victory under a President considered the most liberal in US history.

The high-magnitude cuts will come later when the public sees that we don't all die when cutting takes place (don't know if the high-magnitude type can take place under Obama cut Clinton had to triangulate so he may have to as well).

And the cuts in the rate of growth is exactly why the stock market has been rallying regardless of what others report.

14 posted on 04/27/2013 12:28:20 PM PDT by what's up
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To: EEGator
yup... i LOVE that video
15 posted on 04/27/2013 12:29:02 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Sequester everything but the politicians perks! Its the Chicago (and the Obama)way.


16 posted on 04/27/2013 12:33:58 PM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: Still Thinking
The main thing I really hate about President Bush's term was that damn “No Child Left Behind” crap. The schools have to take every dang kid even if the kid is basically comatose. It is such a waste of money. Why the Republicans don't get rid of this bill is beyond me.
17 posted on 04/27/2013 1:04:31 PM PDT by napscoordinator (Santorum-Bachmann 2016 for the future of the Country!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

“GOP leaders in the House said they have “no plans” to bring up broad legislation to replace sequestration, according to a leadership aide. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Friday told his troops they are winning the argument over the need to cut federal spending.”

They need to keep bring up broad legislation such as the Ryan Budget. They need to be able to point out to the public that they have many options all of which are rejected by Democrats.

Included among them options is insisted upon flexablity and prioritization towards popular programs (cutting or ending unpopular programs instead)

Let the democrats insist upon maintaining Obama’s cuts to the popular and important spending.


18 posted on 04/27/2013 1:29:18 PM PDT by Monorprise
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Good, although there haven't been anywhere near the needed cuts in government spending to prevent default. Spending needs to be cut far more, even if it means our approved and licensed contemporary masters of production prevention will be unemployed.

America’s Ruling Class — And the Perils of Revolution
http://spectator.org/archives/2010/07/16/americas-ruling-class-and-the/print

The Fragmenting of the New Class Elites, or, Downward Mobility
http://volokh.com/2011/10/31/the-fragmenting-of-the-new-class-elites-or-downward-mobility/

Environmentalism and the Leisure Class
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2835601/posts

The New Upper Class and the Real Reason We Dislike Them
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2843575/posts

Are you a member of the political class?
http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/08/are_you_a_member_of_the_politi.html


19 posted on 04/27/2013 2:59:59 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Maybe this piecemeal approach is the way to deal with them. When they make a mountain out of a molehill, then go stomp on the molehill.


20 posted on 04/27/2013 3:57:51 PM PDT by Uncle Chip
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
said NTEU President Colleen Kelley. “Agencies surely shouldn’t be pitted against each other.”

Having Federal agencies compete in showing that they are spending the money on something worthwhile sounds like a swell idea to me. It's called setting priorities. People in the real world do it all the time.

21 posted on 04/27/2013 4:41:18 PM PDT by Hugin (“Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without ha)
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