House Republicans suffered hits during the fiscal cliff debate, but now the issue of the automatic spending sequester gives them a chance to rebound, says former Republican Sen. Judd Gregg.
“This confrontation over the sequester will be the first real opportunity to make the debate about spending restraint and specifically entitlement reform — the issue which lies at the core of any long-term correction of our fiscal house’s problems,” he writes in The Hill
Without action by Congress, the automatic spending cuts will begin March 1.
“The House Republicans will hold some serious cards on the sequester — something that has not been true of any of the other recent clashes between the GOP House and the president,” Gregg, who represented New Hampshire in the Senate from 1993-2011 writes.
“They should play those cards and let the sequester go forward. It is unfortunate that the effort will once again have a confrontational tone.”
That’s because Democrats haven’t shown any interest in real deficit reduction, Gregg says.
But, “If the House Republicans hold together on this, then the Democratic leadership will have to consider reasonable proposals to replace the $1.2 trillion in discretionary cuts caused by the sequester with reforms of Medicare, Medicaid, and other entitlement accounts,” Gregg says.
“The debate, at last, will be on territory that favors the Republicans.”
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