By Mike Lillis - 03/08/13 05:30 PM EST
Pelosi video says Boehner 'happy' to see sequester cuts happen
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi tapped YouTube this week to accuse Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) of being "happy" the sequester cuts have taken effect.
In a video Pelosi's office released Friday, the California Democrat launched the latest salvo in the finger-pointing game over which party is to blame for the $85 billion in automatic cuts, which launched March 1.
The Democrat's two-minute YouTube video begins with a clip of Boehner speaking to NBC's "Meet the Press" last Sunday. Asked by host David Gregory if the $85 billion sequester cuts will hurt the economy, Boehner said he's not sure.
"I don't know whether it's going to hurt the economy or not," Boehner said.
It then jumps back 19 months to another interview with Boehner, just after Congress passed the bipartisan debt-ceiling deal that created the sequester.
"I got 98 percent of what I wanted," Boehner told CBS in August 2011. "I'm pretty happy."
The video moves on to show clips from recent local news programs outlining the harmful effects of the sequester cuts on regional jobs. Boehner's head then pops into the screen, and the audio repeats the Speaker's words to CBS: "I got 98 percent of what I wanted."
The video comes just two days after the House approved a 2013 spending bill, which Democrats used as another opportunity to try to pin ownership of the sequester squarely on the shoulders of Republicans.
The Democrats' motion to recommit (MTR) — which was shot down along largely partisan lines just before passage of the GOP's continuing resolution — would have stricken the sequester language from the CR.
The measure never stood a chance of passing in the face of the Republican majority, but the Democrats' thinking is that anyone opposing a repeal of the sequester language must necessarily support it.
They're framing the measure as the first clean, stand-alone vote on the across-the-board cuts amid a frenzy of finger-pointing that has both parties blaming the other for the very existence of the sequester.
While some Republican budget hawks have welcomed the arrival of the sequester, GOP leaders have insisted they don't want the blunt and automatic cuts to take full effect, particularly those targeting the Pentagon. They're blaming President Obama for undermining national security by allowing those cuts to take effect last week.
Obama also opposes the sequester cuts, but he's made clear that he doesn't want the sequester fight to hinder passage of the CR, thereby threatening a government shutdown.
Senate Democratic leaders said this week that they're prepared to accept the sequester-level CR package, which will extend the government's spending authority through Sept. 30.
The Senate is expected to take up its own version of the CR next week.