GOP lawmaker hoping Obama's Newport News speech leads to sequester solution

"Now that our nation is days away from these devastating cuts, I'm pleased he is visiting our region. I hope it is the first step towards working with the President to overturn the bill that he signed into law."

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Obama is expected to deliver a speech on the sequester next Tuesday at Newport News Shipbuilding, which builds Navy aircraft carriers and submarines. The sequester's defense cuts are expected to felt particularly hard in that region of Virginia, and Obama is likely to call on Congress again to pass legislation that would avoid these cuts.

Obama has called the sequester a "meat-cleaver approach," and is trying to convince Congress to avoid the cuts and accept a Democratic proposal that would replace some of those cuts with new taxes.

But Forbes and other Republicans have noted that Obama has not put forward his own proposal for avoiding the sequester, even though — as Forbes noted — Obama predicted last October that the sequester "will not happen."

Republicans have blasted Obama's failure to lead on the sequester for the last several days. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said everyone knew the sequester was coming, and yet Senate Democrats are only expected to consider a sequester replacement bill next week, with just a few days before the cuts take effect on March 1.

On Wednesday, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said deficit and debt reduction is the "defining issue of this decade," and yet Obama has no specific plan on these issues. Cole noted that while Obama said he is "open to" reforms in the healthcare sector, that is not leadership.

"With all due respect, being 'open to' solutions is not the path to bold presidential leadership," Cole said. "President Franklin Roosevelt was not just 'open to' overcoming the Great Depression, and President Reagan wasn't 'open to' ending the Cold War. These leaders achieved historic progress because they led."