Democrats charge Republicans supporting sequestration with vote to fund government


ADVERTISEMENT
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) issued releases to the districts of 74 House Republicans, nearly a third of the House Republican caucus, framing the vote as one in support of sequestration.

“The sequester is here and Congressman John Kline [R-Minn.] is one of the few people in the country who thinks it should stay,” said DCCC spokeswoman Emily Bittner in the release sent to Kline's district.

The release also went out to the districts of Reps. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), Steve Southerland (R-Fla.), David Valadao (R-Calif.), Bill Young (R-Fla.) and Gary Miller (R-Calif.), among others.

Bittner goes on to note that “Americans are already seeing job losses, military cutbacks and longer airport lines, but Congressman Kline would rather protect tax breaks for the well-connected than stop the damage to our middle class.

"The people of Minnesota want a balanced solution — but Congressman Kline and his Tea Party extremists said no," she adds, charging that Kline's reluctance to eliminate sequestration rises from his support for "tax breaks for Big Oil companies and millionaires."

The measure passed Wednesday in the House, on a largely party-line vote, funds the government through Sept. 30.

Republicans said the bill was necessary to keep government funded through the end of the fiscal year and avoid another crisis as Congress nears the end of the current funding measure, which expires on March 27.

But Democrats ignored these arguments and said that by passing the bill, the Republicans seemed to be favoring the sequester. They even attempted to strike language locking the sequester into place, but that was rejected in a partisan vote.

Democrats believe sequestration could be an electoral winner for them, if the cuts do, as President Obama warned prior to their implementation, have a serious impact on Americans. But any political advantage to be had from sequestration will rely on Democrats successfully saddling Republicans with the blame for the cuts, a messaging task they've been engaged in for weeks prior to the sequestration debate.

This series of releases indicates that messaging war could continue into the coming weeks, as Congress grapples with how to replace the cuts, or whether to replace them at all.

--This post was updated at 6:09 p.m.

More in House

Dem bill would withhold lawmaker pay if DHS shuts down

Read more »