Boehner, flanked by the House GOP leadership, holds a news conference in the Capitol on Monday on the looming sequester.
As President Barack Obama prepared to visit Virginia on Tuesday to showcase the negative effects of sequestration, House Republicans characterized the trip as a campaign-style rally rather than a substantive effort to avert the across-the-board spending cuts.
Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio said Monday that “hope springs eternal” when it comes to finding a way to avoid the more than $1 trillion in spending cuts set to start taking effect Friday. But he said a solution required the president to first negotiate with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
“It’s time to cut spending here in Washington. Instead of using our military men and women as campaign props, if the president was serious, he’d sit down with Harry Reid and begin to address our problems,” Boehner said. “I’ve made this clear for months now, and yet we’ve seen nothing.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who represents a congressional district adjacent to the Newport News Shipbuilding facility Obama will visit, also called on the president to get his hands dirty.
“The president’s off campaigning in my state. . . . Yes, we’re very, very concerned about the impact in the Commonwealth as we are in all states, and there’s a way to effect the right changes and reforms so we can avoid that,” the Virginia Republican said. “The president really ought to stop campaigning and come back to the table and work with us.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.