Republicans tell Obama to 'get serious' on sequester debate

America’s children could be the ones hurt most by the battle over across-the-board spending cuts, Republicans argue.

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GOP Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) said on Saturday that the sequester debate revolves around “the kind of future we want for our children and grandchildren.”

“Do we want to hand them a mountain of debt and all the worries that go with it, or do we want them to inherit a vibrant economy and a future full of opportunity?” she asked in the Republican Party’s weekly address.

Late Friday, $85 billion in defense and non-defense spending cuts – collectively called sequestration -- were activated

In recent days, the finger-pointing for the automatic cuts has escalated with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) telling members of the Senate to “get off their ass,” arguing that the House had passed two measures to replace the cuts.

Rodgers picked up where the House’s top Republican left off.

“In the House, we’ve done the work and shown that these choices can be made in a responsible, thoughtful way,” she said. “So we urge President Obama and Senate Democrats to put country ahead of party and pass a responsible plan to replace his sequester.”

In 2012, the House passed two bills to avoid the drastic, arbitrary cuts, but they expired in January, when the new session of Congress began. In February, the Senate rejected Democratic and Republican bills that would have stopped the sequester.

The Democratic bill would have reduced spending by $55 billion and raised taxes by $55 billion, while the Republican option had no tax increases and required the president to find other spending cuts in the budget.

The Democrats’ desire for more tax revenue is a ploy to endlessly spend more money, Rodgers said.

“The president must stop using this debate as an excuse to raise taxes and start seizing this opportunity to cut spending,” she continued. “Because we can’t let Washington continue spending money it doesn’t have, especially when it’s taking that money straight from your wallets. The problem here isn’t a lack of taxes.”

To fix the problem, Rodgers argued, Democrats have to look to the future and “get serious.”

“We were elected to confront the hard truths, come together and do the right thing,” she said. “That’s the American way, and that’s how we’ll achieve the kind of future our children and grandchildren deserve.”

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