POLITICS

Democrats excited to attack Republicans over defense cuts White House designed

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Democrats regard sequestration as a great opportunity either to force Republicans to raise taxes or blame them, during the 2014 midterms, for the defense cuts that sequestration requires.

“Republicans who are unwilling to compromise, unwilling to find solutions and are responsible for cuts to defense and jobs in their districts are going to find an unwelcome reception from voters,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Jesse Ferguson told Politico, which noted that Democrats are “eyeing at least 10 Republican-held seats with strong military connections from Florida to California to target in 2014, after sequester cuts have trickled down to local bases where jobs are lost and voters notice.”

So, the Democratic Party plans to strike a defense hawk pose during the midterms. It won’t work, if voters remember that Democrats devised the sequester. Then-White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew pitched the idea to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in 2011, as House Republicans keep recalling. “They would design it so that half the threatened cuts would be from the Defense Department,” Bob Woodward paraphrased Lew as saying to Reid in his book, The Price of Politics. “I like that,” Reid replied. “That’s good.”

The White House outlined “the most damaging effects of a sequester” in a fact-sheet released today, but Obama has rewarded Lew by nominating him to replace Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

 

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