Speaker of the House John Boehner may be in danger of losing his grip on the upcoming sequester.
Boehner , of Ohio, and the majority of Republicans in Congress are behind the sequester as a last-ditch effort to stop what they consider to be out-of-control government spending over raising new revenue for the federal government.
However, one member of the party has his doubts about the move.
Unlike most of his fellow Republicans who now accept the sequester, Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., thinks the better idea might be to raise taxes.
Rooney, a member of the Intelligence Committee and an Army veteran, said he favors tax increases over cutting defense spending after President Obama suggested mixing spending reductions with revenue to stop deep Pentagon cuts that begin in March.
“I think that our party has shifted away from prioritizing a strong national defense to one that’s considering what amounts to a reckless cut in spending just for the sake of cutting spending rather that looking at what we believe historically are the true drivers of our debt — entitlements,” Rooney said in an interview on Tuesday.
“We’re just taking what we can get right now.”
Although Rooney’s views are most certainly in the minority, Boehner could be in trouble if the Florida congressman’s adamant disapproval of the sequester starts to spread among rank-and-file GOP.
“We’ve tried to replace sequester with other things, but it seems now that a large portion of our conference is [resigned] to the fact that sequestration is OK,” Rooney said.
“It’s not. It’s dangerous, a huge mistake, a threat to our liberty … and I think that we should consider any and all options that don’t include hollowing out our military,” he said.
Boehner’s hold on the sequester line seems safe for now, as long as opinions like the one expressed by Georgia Congressman Lynn Westmoreland remain representative of where GOP lawmakers stand on the issue.
“I think the sequester happens,” he said.
“I don’t think anyone wants to see it, but we got to get real about cutting spending. If this is the only way we can cut spending, this is what we gotta do.”
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