Gov. Walker: Call Obama’s ‘bluff’ on sequester

“They should find an alternative, they should do their job, and why not empower the president and his administration? Give them the authority within their budgets to make those changes so they don’t have to do some of the things they are talking about,” said Walker on “Fox & Friends.”

The GOP governor said the across-the-board spending cuts slated to go into effect on Friday were a “bad idea” but said that the administration should be forced to do what governors with limited state budgets do: save essential programs while targeting wasteful spending.

“We still have to balance the budget and get back to deficit reduction which was what the sequester was about in the first place,” he said.

Walker said that enabling the president to do so would help counter the administration’s “scare tactics.”

“Call the bluff, give them the authority to do this as governors, Democrat and Republican alike, we have to do this all the time, we have to make those tough choices,” he said. “Allow them to make the cuts in a way that is much more responsible.”

Walker is in Washington, D.C., this week for the National Governors Association conference. The nation’s governors will meet with President Obama at the White House today. The visit comes as the administration seeks to pressure GOP lawmakers to accept a package of spending cuts and tax hikes to offset the $85 billion in sequester cuts taking effect on March 1.

The White House has attempted to rally public support by highlighting the real-world fallout from the cuts, claiming that teachers will lose their jobs, the nation’s transportation network will be slowed down, that healthcare and education programs will be scaled back and that the nation’s military readiness will be undercut. On Sunday, the administration released a series of reports detailing the effects of the sequester on a state-by-state basis.

Republicans, though, say they want any sequester replacement to focus on spending cuts and entitlement reforms, and not include additional tax revenues. GOP lawmakers have also said that the president owns the sequester and has focused more on scaring voters and less on finding a solution to avert the budget ax.

“Call the bluff and let them go forward in doing it, there’s got to be a better way — it’s not about avoiding cuts, it’s not about tax increases, it’s about cutting true waste, fraud and abuse,” said Walker.