House Speaker John Boehner suggested on “Meet the Press” Sunday a theme of uncertainty surrounding the forced spending cuts known as the sequester, which began kicking in on Friday.”Listen,” he told NBC’s David Gregory. “I don’t know whether it’s going to hurt the economy or not. I don’t think anyone quite understands how the sequester is really going to work.”
And he also suggested that he’s not sure where the debate goes from here.
“I don’t think anyone quite understands how it gets resolved,” he said.
Boehner’s talking point was clear — he painted President Barack Obama as the person who thought up the idea of the sequester and blamed him for not budging on his insistence to include new revenue-boosting measures as part of a deal to avert the cuts.
He backed up his theme of uncertainty by citing a now-debunked claim from Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who said that teachers would be laid off en masse in Virginia.
Boehner said that the onus is now on the Senate to act to replace the sequester, since the House has passed two bills. Those bills are now defunct, however, as they expired with the end of the last Congress. Two Republican and Democratic-led bills failed to pass because of a 60-vote threshold.
Gregory asked Boehner whether he still had control of his caucus despite some conservative members being upset with his inclusion of revenues in the deal to avert the fiscal cliff.
“Listen, I’m here to lead the fight against out-of-control spending. And I’m going to lead that fight as Speaker of the House,” Boehner said.
Here’s a clip of Boehner on “Meet the Press,” courtesy of NBC:
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