By Molly K. Hooper - 02/13/13 03:58 PM EST
Speaker John BoehnerJohn Boehner3 ways the next president can succeed on immigration reform Republican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare MORE (R-Ohio) on Wednesday said the House will not act to prevent $85 billion in spending cuts set for March 1 unless the Senate acts first.
BoehnerJohn Boehner3 ways the next president can succeed on immigration reform Republican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare MORE expressed frustration that the Senate did nothing with House-approved bills in the previous Congress that would have replaced the sequester and said it was “incumbent” now on President Obama and Senate Democrats to approve a plan by March 1.
Obama has called for Congress to replace the sequester with different spending cuts and tax increases, and Senate Democrats plan to unveil such a proposal by Thursday.
But Boehner, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellObama administration officials ramp up push for Pacific pact Overnight Defense: GOP leaders express concerns after 9/11 veto override | Lawmakers press for Syria 'plan B' | US touts anti-ISIS airstrikes Overnight Finance: Lawmakers float criminal charges for Wells Fargo chief | Scrutiny on Trump's Cuba dealings | Ryan warns of recession if no tax reform MORE (Ky.) and other Republicans say a replacement bill should include no new taxes after the “fiscal cliff” deal earlier this year included $600 billion in new taxes.
Boehner said the cuts will hit congressional offices as well as the other government agencies, meaning his own members will feel their pain.
GOP leaders sent a notification to lawmakers on Tuesday detailing how to handle the cuts.
“The sequester will in fact hit members and their offices, and the leadership offices and committees, and in addition to that, other Capitol offices. ... We're prepared to deal with it, and I hope that it wouldn't happen,” Boehner said.
The Speaker has likened the sequester to a “meat ax” hitting the government, but has argued it would be better for it to go forward than to impose new taxes.