Sequester looking pretty inevitable

posted at 9:21 am on February 15, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

So says The Hill, with good reason — Congress has taken a break with just two weeks to go before the deadline.  The House and Senate won’t return until February 25th, which only gives them three days to cut a deal to avoid it.  That won’t be nearly enough time, and is out of the question if John Boehner sticks to his pledge of normal-order budgeting.  The question now will be how long it lasts rather than whether it hits:

The question in Washington is no longer whether the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester will be implemented: It’s when and even if the spending reductions will ever be shut off.

The $85 billion in cuts looming on March 1 would run through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, leaving more than $900 billion in cuts for Congress and the White House to wrangle with over the next nine years.

Pressure may intensify to pass sequester legislation in March as federal workers are furloughed and Pentagon and other government programs are cut.

But the cuts seem also certain to begin rolling given the vast distance between Democrats and Republicans over how to avert them.

One measure of the urgency given this deadline is the very fact that no one felt compelled to stick around next week to deal with it.  Another measure is the fact that it’s been a well-known deadline for months now, and yet it took until yesterday for Senate Democrats to offer an alternative to the sequester — and one they knew would be completely unacceptable to the House.  That was just a proposal, and a preliminary one at that, with no legislative language for consideration.  (The House has twice passed a replacement package that the Senate won’t even consider.)

Of course, at different times both parties have expressed support for letting the sequester hit.  Democrats thought it was a great idea when the White House demanded that Republicans accept it in the summer 2011 budget deal, and as late as just a few months ago, Barack Obama scolded Republicans for trying to “wriggle out” of the deal.  When Republicans embraced the cuts, suddenly Democrats started talking about how dangerous they are.  Perhaps neither side is terribly anxious in reality to undo the only reductions in spending that they’ve so far managed to produce, and that’s why they’re all leaving town rather than deal with the consequences.

If that doesn’t seem terribly dignified, don’t tell Nancy Pelosi.  She complained yesterday that the sequester would reduce the “dignity” of Congress and their staffs by forcing them to work for less money.  No, seriously:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that she opposes a cut in congressional pay because it would diminish the dignity of lawmakers’ jobs.

“I don’t think we should do it; I think we should respect the work we do,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. “I think it’s necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded.”

The comments were made in the context of the looming sequester, which would force across-the-board cuts affecting most federal offices, including Congress. With lawmakers nowhere near a deal to avert those cuts, federal agencies are bracing for ways to absorb them with minimum damage to programs and personnel.

Ahem.  Is this the same body that hasn’t produced a single normal-order budget since 2009, despite being required by law to do so?  What exactly have they done with “dignity” on Capitol Hill during that time?  They shouldn’t get paid at all if they can’t even bother to budget, one of their core responsibilities. There may be many things wrong with the sequester as it is currently constituted, but the insult to Congressional dignity is pretty far down the priority list.


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Too easy. Fire them all and start over.

Bmore on February 15, 2013 at 9:23 AM

There may be many things wrong with the sequester as it is currently constituted, but the insult to Congressional dignity is pretty far down the priority list is not one of them.

FIFY Ed. You can’t insult something that doesn’t exist.

gryphon202 on February 15, 2013 at 9:23 AM

See how the dignity of the unemployment line for months on end suits them.

Bmore on February 15, 2013 at 9:23 AM

At least fire her.

Bmore on February 15, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Can’t understand this.

Emperor Obama is getting his wish.

Why are his minions so upset?

Obamaquester — Gotta Love it.

Seriously.

As an acolyte of Obama you must love it.

Or Holder’s DoJ will get you.

coldwarrior on February 15, 2013 at 9:24 AM

I listened to Sen. Inhofe on Bill Bennett yesterday morning and the real problem is that where the cuts are to be made are specific. Supposedly the Senate is trying to make a bill a percentage cut that can be implemented for judiciously.

Cindy Munford on February 15, 2013 at 9:25 AM

I think they should just stay home. It appears that the best thing this Congress ever did happened when they were gone.

Wino on February 15, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Blame the gop in 5….4….3
-lsm

Don’t cave now gop…..let it ride

cmsinaz on February 15, 2013 at 9:26 AM

An insult to the “dignity” of … Congress?

First chuckle of the day…

Fallon on February 15, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Sequester sure beats the hell out of the present drunken spending binge.

VorDaj on February 15, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Dignity? Congress? Wow.

Dingbat63 on February 15, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Nancy has no idea what dignity means.

gophergirl on February 15, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Mr cmsinaz and i get in an argument about congressional pay…. he thinks they always deserve their raises…. i ask why when they haven’t done squat

cmsinaz on February 15, 2013 at 9:29 AM

We are just going to have to let it happen to find out what it will entail.

What difference does it make anyway?

trs on February 15, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Wait til we find out that life goes on after sequestration when we discover we don’t need all those government jobs…..

ctmom on February 15, 2013 at 9:30 AM

ughh..that picture of Pelosi. Is she yelling Palomino?

Her face looks as tight as a drum..one more facelift and she’ll be sporting a goatee.

HumpBot Salvation on February 15, 2013 at 9:34 AM

I don’t think dignity means what she thinks it means.

Cindy Munford on February 15, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Wait til we find out that life goes on after sequestration when we discover we don’t need all those government jobs…..

ctmom on February 15, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Yup. A Democrats greatest fear.

Jabberwock on February 15, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Go for it and let’s see what happens.I want to see Chrissy have a stroke.

docflash on February 15, 2013 at 9:38 AM

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that she opposes a cut in congressional pay because it would diminish the dignity of lawmakers’ jobs.

“I don’t think we should do it; I think we should respect the work we do,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. “I think it’s necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded.”

The gall of this woman to speak about dignity. How about the millions of Americans who’ve lost their job, taking paycuts, or had their purchasing power reduced significantly over the last few years? Think they’re feeling less dignified these days?

Doughboy on February 15, 2013 at 9:38 AM

“I don’t think we should do it; I think we should respect the work we do,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. “I think it’s necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded.”

You might, but have you seen any recent approval ratings for Congrss ? Nobody else does.

Jabberwock on February 15, 2013 at 9:38 AM

I’m loving this. Embrace the sequester and go on from there. Expect more whining from the progs on a daily basis. Also the defense hawks from our end.

tommy71 on February 15, 2013 at 9:38 AM

She complained yesterday that the sequester would reduce the “dignity” of Congress and their staffs by forcing them to work for less money. No, seriously:

And in the meantime, there are all those federal employees and contractors being screwed with because nobody knows what really is going to happen.

Happy Nomad on February 15, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Death of a thousand tiny cuts.

Bmore on February 15, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Nancy has no idea what dignity means.

gophergirl on February 15, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Pants???

BigWyo on February 15, 2013 at 9:42 AM

A woman with a preposterously youthful shade of hair and who willingly injects toxins and chemicals into her face on a regular basis as her vanity crosses over into body dysmorphic disorder is lecturing us about dignity?

jangle12 on February 15, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Also the defense hawks from our end.

tommy71 on February 15, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Love the sequestration or hate it but let’s remember that the defense cuts make absolutely no sense. Yes the defense budget needs to be on the table for cuts but this arbitrary way of doing it is not good public policy. Especially when there are so many more common sense things that could be cut (anybody say Department of Education or DHS?)

Happy Nomad on February 15, 2013 at 9:44 AM

A woman with a preposterously youthful shade of hair and who willingly injects toxins and chemicals into her face on a regular basis as her vanity crosses over into body dysmorphic disorder is lecturing us about dignity?

jangle12 on February 15, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Democrats have as much dignity as they do shame. Which is to say none at all.

Happy Nomad on February 15, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Congress has all the dignity of a drunken 2 am booty call.

Naturally Curly on February 15, 2013 at 9:45 AM

She’s looking a lot like Geddy Lee these days. No offense meant to Mr. Lee.

Brat on February 15, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Yes, ’cause a dignified Congress always hangs out in the 15% approval range…goodness sake…

hillsoftx on February 15, 2013 at 9:46 AM

I do think you are being way too harsh towards the dear old crone. Just imagine how rational you would be at 110 yrs old.

OldEnglish on February 15, 2013 at 9:48 AM

This entire government is totally useless . . . no, its down right dangerous and we’d be better of without any of them. These jackasses are destroying this once great Republic.

rplat on February 15, 2013 at 9:56 AM

The dignity of Congress?

On par with:

Madonna’s chastity.
Obama’s transparency.
Hillary’s, “I can’t recall.”
Chris Matthew’s objectivity.
Harry Reid’s humility.
Obamacare’s economic wisdom.
Our border’s impenetrability.
John McCain’s loyalty.
Lindsey Graham’s independence.
The dollar’s strength.
Fill in your own……………..

Don L on February 15, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Since when has Congress had “dignity”? As for Nancy-poo, Botox has consequences.

GarandFan on February 15, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Fill in your own……………..

Don L on February 15, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Charlie Rangel’s integrity.
John Boehner’s backbone.
Chris Christie’s ability to say “I’m full.”

Happy Nomad on February 15, 2013 at 10:02 AM

I think some of it boils down to democrats operating under the assumption that they are supposed to win, every time, and when they might not they behave like worse children than normal.

Speakup on February 15, 2013 at 10:02 AM

One must have dignity before it can be taken away.

Mr. Arrogant on February 15, 2013 at 10:04 AM

She’s whining about a paycut?

what?.. she couldn’t just dump it on her staff?.. you know,.. the help?… and in this era when we’re told endlessly we have to make sacrifices for the good of the country, she wants an opt out for herself?

Let’s see, my Medicare costs just skyrocketed,.. and I’m scrambling to find any insurance I can afford to help, and she thinks as a millionaire, that her pay is sacrosanct?

Oh Hell… let me find the place where I threw my sympathy… here.. there..over the neighbors fence next to his pitbull…. nope.. can’t find it.

If people on Medicare are already taking hits, something I expected would happen sooner of later, though a bit of warning would have been nice (the letter informing me of the changes arrived a month after they kicked in,.. which they admitted in the letter).. and she with her millions, her rich cronies, her husbands wealth..

is whining like a 3 year old denied ice cream..

I’m taking my increased expenses as a necessary thing, entitlements have to be cut back, but her?.. I could give a damn about her issues with it, and I doubt most Americans will care much.

mark81150 on February 15, 2013 at 10:12 AM

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that she opposes a cut in congressional pay because it would diminish the dignity of lawmakers’ jobs.
===========================

Congress needs to be Unionized,er Right to Work,er
sumpin……

canopfor on February 15, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Oh, yeah, sure, the first word that comes to mind when I think of Pelosi Galore is dignity.

onlineanalyst on February 15, 2013 at 10:16 AM

A few less government bureaucrats, a cut to government handouts, and a little more pain to Obama voters……….what a wonderful thing!

Tater Salad on February 15, 2013 at 10:17 AM

I think of Pelosi Galore is dignity.

onlineanalyst on February 15, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Goldfinger will never be the same for me now…

mark81150 on February 15, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Yes, ’cause a dignified Congress always hangs out in the 15% approval range…goodness sake…

hillsoftx on February 15, 2013 at 9:46 AM

They’re down to 9% . Congress is now less popular than root canals, NFL replacement referees, head lice, colonoscopies, carnies, traffic jams, cockroaches, Donald Trump, France, Genghis Khan, used-car salesmen and brussel sprouts.

Nancy should see someone about that high self-esteem. There’s help for that.

lynncgb on February 15, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Fill in your own……………..

Don L on February 15, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Bill Clinton’s humidor

NavyBlue on February 15, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Not sure why the lawyers wont get together and file suit against the government for breaking the law and not passing a budget. I say for every year there is no budget, tje American people shouldnt have to pay any taxes.

Varchild on February 15, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Congress needs to be Unionized,er Right to Work,er
sumpin……

canopfor on February 15, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Unfortunately, her mind does work like that.. the kind of self justifying rationalization that has skewed public policy for generations.

They always have a list of excuses, but never any responsibility.

mark81150 on February 15, 2013 at 10:24 AM

They’re down to 9% . Congress is now less popular than root canals, NFL replacement referees, head lice, colonoscopies, carnies, traffic jams, cockroaches, Donald Trump, France, Genghis Khan, used-car salesmen and brussel sprouts.

Nancy should see someone about that high self-esteem. There’s help for that.

lynncgb on February 15, 2013 at 10:20 AM

That’s not fair to brussel sprouts !

Jabberwock on February 15, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Not sure why the lawyers wont get together and file suit against the government for breaking the law and not passing a budget. I say for every year there is no budget, tje American people shouldnt have to pay any taxes.

Varchild on February 15, 2013 at 10:22 AM

When they ARE working, threy’re kind of above the law.
And remember, lots of lawyers in that gaggle as well.

Jabberwock on February 15, 2013 at 10:27 AM

That’s not fair to brussel sprouts !

Jabberwock on February 15, 2013 at 10:25 AM

agreed, My wife and I, our two kids.. Brussel Sprouts are the stuff.. more popular in this house than corn,.. which says alot.. cause we live in Ohio.. and here, THAT is heresy.

mark81150 on February 15, 2013 at 10:29 AM

I think of Pelosi Galore is dignity.

onlineanalyst on February 15, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Goldfinger will never be the same for me now…

mark81150 on February 15, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Actally, I always compared Pelosi to Colonel Klebb (from SMASH to SPECTRE) in “From Russa with love”…

That should soothe your memory a bit…

Khun Joe on February 15, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Question.. who is it the Senate refuses to pass a budget for 4 years.. and there is no penalty, nothing, as if they are above the law..

If the GOP House refused to even submit a budget as Reid has.. can you imagine the hue and cry in the media about lawless republicans?.. as it is, they still blame the GOP for every lawless thing Reid does, like we held a gun to his head.

Why hasn’t any outside watchdog group filed lawsuits..

When there is no rule of law in the Senate because it serves the democrats selfish partisan interests, and the media lays down like a loyal dog,.. where can the American people get justice,.. it’s become a truism that the laws are only enforced on Congress by Congress and the media when a republican is sacrificed on the altar of public opinion..

Reid skips off like the Vegas mobbed up crook he is, without a hint of a whisper in the press.

Liberals govern like robber barons..

mark81150 on February 15, 2013 at 10:39 AM

“I don’t think we should do it; I think we should respect the work we do.”
“I think it’s necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded.”

Congresswomen Nancy Pelosi

.
Let me be clear:

I HAVE NO RESPECT FOR . A N Y T H I N G . YOU’VE DONE, WHILE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE.

I hope that was understood.

In addition, let me add:

SPARE NO INDIGNITY ! ! !

.
Thank you for your time.

listens2glenn on February 15, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Bill Bennett ?
Cindy Munford on February 15, 2013 at 9:25 AM

might want to read Milton Friedman’s open letter to bill bennet. he’s part of the problem,not the solution!!

svs22422 on February 15, 2013 at 10:43 AM

What bothers me the most about Pelosi, is that she has presided over the mess we find ourselves in for its entire duration, and she can still go on national television, look the American people straight in the eye, and claim that she’s done an excellent job.

A disconnect of that magnitude should disqualify her from public office.

FineasFinn on February 15, 2013 at 10:53 AM

canopfor on February 15, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Unfortunately, her mind does work like that.. the kind of self justifying rationalization that has skewed public policy for generations.

They always have a list of excuses, but never any responsibility.

mark81150 on February 15, 2013 at 10:24 AM

mark81150:Well,she does work hard,…..(snark):)

canopfor on February 15, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Unfortunately, her mind does work like that.. the kind of self justifying rationalization that has skewed public policy for generations.

They always have a list of excuses, but never any responsibility.

mark81150 on February 15, 2013 at 10:24 AM

You make the so rational mistake of assuming that they really want to do it right. They don’t–they seek to destroy everything good and replace it with Godless socialism of the worst possible kind.

We have to stop projecting our good intentions upon America’s enemies within.

Don L on February 15, 2013 at 10:58 AM

svs22422 on February 15, 2013 at 10:43 AM

It was an interview with Sen. Inhofe. Sorry I can’t work up all the disdain for everyone that is going on right now. We all have our standards and none are going to be met to completion. I’ll have enough on my plate with Obama and his ilk.

Cindy Munford on February 15, 2013 at 11:03 AM

I have to hand props to Boehner for sitting on his hands and refusing to engage with Obama’s lurch from one crisis to another – this time.

Of course, it’s too soon to say House Republicans won’t eventually cave, but I’m pleasantly surpised they haven’t done so up to this point.

Force Reid and the Senate to put through a bill as per normal order. Screw negotiations with Obama and/or Reid until they actually bring something to the reconciliation committee.

DRayRaven on February 15, 2013 at 11:08 AM

“I don’t think we should do it; I think we should respect the work we do,”

At this point the work you do isn’t worth a 1 cent tip.

chemman on February 15, 2013 at 11:16 AM

she can still go on national television, look the American people straight in the eye, and claim that she’s done an excellent job.

FineasFinn on February 15, 2013 at 10:53 AM

It’s easy to look the American people straight in the eye when you are incapable of blinking because of all the botox.

Happy Nomad on February 15, 2013 at 11:22 AM

posted at 11:01 am on January 24, 2013 by Ed Morrissey:

Interestingly, Obama may have fatally undermined the Democratic strategy on the defense sequester before the trap could be sprung. The idea behind gouging the Pentagon was that it was such anathema to conservatives that Republicans would feel duty-bound to unwind it. And that was working for a while; in 2012, Republicans repeatedly warned about the impact of the defense sequester on military readiness and the overall economy.

Once Obama picked Chuck Hagel to replace Leon Panetta as Secretary of Defense, however, that all became moot. Republicans have since become strangely quiet about the sequester’s impact. It’s very clear that Obama wants Hagel to enact deep cuts in military spending — or more accurately, be a front man for that policy with his service record and party affiliation as a shield.

If that’s what is coming anyway, well, why not let Hagel and Obama deal with the problems arising from the sequester?

I came across something this morning that is nearly 4 years old, but related…

Published: March 11, 2009 at 4:52 PM

WASHINGTON, March 11 (UPI) — The $410 billion budget — criticized for its scope in spending and earmarks — was signed Wednesday by President Barack Obama.

The budget document — which keeps federal operations running through the end of the fiscal year Sept. 30 — includes more than 8,500 earmarks, or funding for specific projects sought by congressional members, costing roughly $7.7 billion. The measure also boosts operating budgets by 10 percent or more for some of the programs over 2008 levels. Both the earmarks and the amount of money included in the operations budget drew howls of protest from both sides of the aisle.

The measure, delayed by term-ending politics between the Bush White House and Congress, funds nine departments for activities that are not related to defense or homeland security agencies, whose budgets were funded last fall.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/03/11/Obama-signs-earmark-laden-budget-bill/UPI-75101236770890/

So, Congress sent defense and homeland security funding bills to President Bush in the fall of 2008, but then held back the spending bills for nine other departments until Obama took office. That part I knew. What I didn’t know was that Obama “boost[ed] operating budgets by 10 percent or more” for those non-defense departments.

So what the Democrats and Obama did was increase the baseline for non-military departments by significantly more than they did for the military.

And now, with the sequester, the cuts are scheduled to come disproportionately from the military.

So both the actions in March 2009 and now March 2013 are intended to decrease the % of budget outlays to our military.

March 2009 increased spending on non-military departments, relative to military.

March 2013 sequester will decrease spending on military more than it decreases spending on non-military departments.

Both measures are intended to shrink the % of outlays spent on our military. The second measure is more obvious in that regard, while it took me nearly 4 years to realize the similar impact of the first measure.

ITguy on February 15, 2013 at 11:28 AM

In the last 6 years my company has forced two “dignity” reductions to my salary and I still show up for work.

I guess if I had any self worth I would quit my job and tell that evil corporation that I have my pride and will be a full time welfare recipient from now on.

That way when I get my govenment checks I know I am helping job creation as well, right Nancy?

mechkiller_k on February 15, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Eat Your Heart out Nancy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

US House passes bill 261-154 to freeze federal civilian worker pay, stop 0.5% pay increase provided by Obama-signed bill in 2007 – @NBCNews

1 min ago by editor

canopfor on February 15, 2013 at 11:53 AM

canopfor on February 15, 2013 at 11:53 AM

But will the Senate ever see it?

Cindy Munford on February 15, 2013 at 12:32 PM

canopfor on February 15, 2013 at 11:53 AM

But will the Senate ever see it?

Cindy Munford on February 15, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Cindy Munford:Good point:)

Btw,heres Roll Call on that:)
=============================

FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 44
(Republicans in roman; Democrats in italic; Independents underlined)

H R 273 YEA-AND-NAY 15-Feb-2013 11:18 AM
QUESTION: On Passage
BILL TITLE: To eliminate the 2013 statutory pay adjustment for Federal employees

http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2013/roll044.xml

http://clerk.house.gov/legislative/legvotes.aspx

canopfor on February 15, 2013 at 12:45 PM

canopfor on February 15, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Hmmmm, my district in Virginia boy, Rigell voted “No”. Somebody needs a trip to the woodshed.

Cindy Munford on February 15, 2013 at 12:57 PM

When the public approval of the Congress is below that of “used car salesmen,” there really isn’t much respect or dignity left.

J_Crater on February 15, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Take a chill pill, Pelosi.

Enjoy your well earned ten day February vacation.

Maybe take a trip to the Dominican Republic with Senator Menendez.

I’m sure he can show you a “dignified” good time.

MichaelGabriel on February 15, 2013 at 2:08 PM

As Chris Farley might have said:

“For the love of God! Nancy, shut up and accept what you wanted and fought for!!!”

Mr. Grump on February 15, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Take a chill pill, Pelosi.

Enjoy your well earned ten day February vacation.

Maybe take a trip to the Dominican Republic with Senator Menendez.

I’m sure he can show you a “dignified” good time.

MichaelGabriel on February 15, 2013 at 2:08 PM

…he’ll pretend… she’s twelve!

KOOLAID2 on February 15, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Dignity and Pelosi don’t belong in the same sentence. “tacky” and “shabby” is more appropriate when talking of democrat leaders.

The Great Sequester is another Great Fiscal Cliff, and another Great Bore.

Washington, we’re just not that into you!

virgo on February 16, 2013 at 12:06 AM