Toomey: Automatic cuts unfairly weighted in favor of Democrats

Supercommittee member Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said Democrats were not motivated to reach a deficit-reduction deal because the automatic cuts that were triggered by the panel’s failure were unfairly weighted toward programs that are important to Republicans.
 
“There was an asymmetry in the motivation,” Toomey said Tuesday on Townhall Radio. “If you just look at the sequester, let’s face it, there are a lot of Democrats whose lifelong ambition has been to cut defense spending.”
 
The sequestration mechanism that was triggered on Monday after the supercommittee failed to reach an agreement will cut $1.2 trillion from the budget over the next 10 years, beginning in 2013. About half of those cuts will come from the Pentagon’s budget, while the other half will come from discretionary spending, including Medicaid and Medicare.
 

ADVERTISEMENT
The sequestration mechanism was part of the Budget Control Act of 2011, passed by Congress as part of the agreement to raise the debt ceiling. Toomey said he wants the automatic cuts to continue, but will look for a way around the over $600 billion that will affect the Pentagon’s budget.
 
Toomey put the blame squarely on Democrats for the supercommittee’s failure.
 
“Take a look at what actually happened, which side actually made an effort and which side didn’t,” he said. “I think you can tell who was being reasonable and who was being unreasonable.”
 
The Pennsylvania senator said he would work to make sure the public knows that Republicans were willing to make revenues a part of any agreement, but that Democrats insisted on unreasonable tax increases.
 
Toomey was asked who would win the battle over the supercommittee narrative.
 
“In order for [Democrats] to prevail, they have to be willing to tell a story that’s not true,” he said. “They do have the advantage of the presidency … they do control the U.S. Senate … but we have truth on our side … I definitely have a clear conscience about the effort we made.
 
“I hope we have such a stunning, sweeping result in 2012 that we’re able to do the right pro-growth initiatives,” he added.