Both Boehner and McConnell appeared to back the sequester mechanism that was created in the debt ceiling deal should the super committee fail. That could put them at odds with large parts of their party, which have insisted on changes to protect defense spending.
“The good news is that even without an agreement, $1.2 trillion will still be cut from the deficit,” McConnell said in his statement. “Now it falls on the President to ensure that the defense cuts he insisted upon do not undermine national security.”
However, McConnell aides said tonight that he does not believe the cuts to defense spending should be made because of dire predictions by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.