By Justin Sink
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) said Wednesday he was unimpressed by efforts from fellow House Republicans to lay blame for the sequester on President Obama, calling the moves "disingenuous."
"I think it's a mistake on the part of Republicans to try to pin the sequester on Obama," Amash told Buzzfeed. "It's totally disingenuous. The debt ceiling deal in 2011 was agreed to by Republicans and Democrats, and regardless of who came up with the sequester, they all voted for it. So, you can't vote for something and, with a straight face, go blame the other guy for its existence in law."
Last week, Republicans on Capitol Hill switched their Facebook and Twitter avatars to a passage from Bob Woodward's recent book that reports the sequester was first proposed by the White House. Additionally, they sent messages critical of the president and sequester using the Twitter hashtag #Obamaquester. It was part of an effort to lay blame at the feet of President Obama for the $85 billion in across-the-board cuts set to take effect on March 1.
"You voted for it, you signed it, that means you support it," Amash said. "And if you don't support it, then don't vote for it and don't sign it."
On Wednesday, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) pointedly referred to "the president's sequester" while speaking with reporters on Capitol Hill.
“And the president laid out no plan to eliminate the sequester and the harmful cuts that will come of it," Boehner said.
Obama, for his part, made sure to note the involvement of Congress while discussing the sequester in his State of the Union address Tuesday night.
“In 2011, Congress passed a law saying that if both parties couldn’t agree on a plan to reach our deficit goal, about a trillion dollars’ worth of budget cuts would automatically go into effect this year,” the president said.
Amash, a staunch fiscal conservative, has been a frequent critic of GOP leadership, and was stripped of his seat on the House Budget Committee last year. The Michigan lawmaker was also one of nine GOP defectors who did not support Boehner for the Speakership in January, with Amash casting his vote for Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho.).