MILWAUKEE (WITI) — $85 billion in federal spending cuts are set to take effect as of 12 a.m. Saturday, March 2nd if Congress cannot come up with a deal to avoid them. The cuts are part of the “sequestration.”
Republican Congressman Paul Ryan explained sequester to a crowd at the Snap-On headquarters in Kenosha on Friday, March 1st. The former vice presidential candidate known for his fiscal acumen says this could have been avoided — if Democrats were willing to compromise.
“After the House passed legislation preventing the sequester and replacing it with other cuts, I thought the Senate might do the same and unfortunately, they didn’t,” said Ryan.
Democrat Gwen Moore, who was still in Washington on Friday morning, says Democrats rejected Ryan’s ideas because they are too extreme.
“House Republicans have a sequester proposal that’s four times as great as $85 billion,” said Moore.
Moore also blames Republicans for the failed negotiations, saying they refused to allow another tax hike on the wealthiest Americans.
“They’re the ones who are dug in with their one-trick pony of just cutting it out of the hides of the elderly, the poor, the young, the vulnerable,” said Moore.
Ryan says he and Republicans are willing to negotiate. But he says it’s hard when Democrats reject his proposals and never make a counter-offer.
“Hopefully for the first time in four years, the Senate will pass a budget and then we can get to common ground. You can’t get to a compromise if you don’t come to the table in the first place and the Senate and president have yet to do that so I’m hoping that will change,” said Ryan.
Ryan says he supports a plan that would give the president the power to carve out where that $85 billion would come from.
Some Democrats have called that a political move designed to absolve Republicans of any blame for the cuts, which will be made across the board.