Reid knocks GOP’s sequester road trip

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidWhite House seeks to shield Biden from GOP attacks on crime issue Lobbying world Warner backing 'small carve-out' on filibuster for voting rights MORE (D-Nev.) on Tuesday pushed back against Republican pressure to unwind automatic cuts to defense programs that were agreed to as part of the 2011 Budget Control Act.

GOP Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMeghan McCain to produce 'Don't Sweat the Small Stuff' Lifetime movie starring Heather Locklear An August ultimatum: No recess until redistricting reform is done Meghan McCain on Pelosi, McCarthy fight: 'I think they're all bad' MORE (Ariz.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham, Cuellar press Biden to name border czar Trump takes two punches from GOP The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands MORE (S.C.) and Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyottePoll: Potential Sununu-Hassan matchup in N.H. a dead heat  Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal Sununu seen as top recruit in GOP bid to reclaim Senate MORE (N.H.) traveled to Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and New Hampshire this week to talk about the damage the cuts would inflict on the military.


Some Democrats have seen the senators’ town halls as a politicized effort to reinforce presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign strategy of blaming President Obama for the defense cuts.

Reid said McCain, Graham and Ayotte should focus on pressing their GOP colleagues to accept tax increases to pay for erasing the defense sequester.

He applauded suggestions by McCain and Graham that the defense cuts could be averted by closing niche tax breaks.

“There are a few Republicans wandering around the country stirring up things on sequester. The point of their trip is to call for the defense cuts — and have those defense cuts replaced with some revenues. Well, that’s good,” Reid said.

“What I say to my Republican colleagues: ‘I couldn’t agree more that deficit reduction should include revenues.’ They should spend their time getting their fellow Republicans on board,” he added.

Reid said it is unfair for Republicans to blame Democrats for the pending defense cuts because many of them supported them last year.

“The balanced package of cuts called the sequester was passed by a bipartisan majority in both houses of Congress,” he said. “Twenty-eight Republicans voted for these cuts in the Senate, including Sen. McCain, who’s part of the road trip. By refusing to replace cuts with revenues, Republicans are putting millionaires ahead of the middle class and the military.”

He said an agreement could be reached quickly if Republicans compromised on taxes.

“We could avoid these defense cuts tomorrow if Republicans would simply ask millionaires to pay their fair share,” he said.