(WASHINGTON) — President Obama’s plea to House Republicans to include new revenues along with spending cuts to head off the March 1 sequester has apparently fallen on deaf ears.
Deputy Majority Whip Tom Cole told ABC’s This Week Sunday that GOP lawmakers will hold the line on any tax increases because of how the White House got its way in the fiscal cliff deal last Jan. 1.
According to the Oklahoma Republican, “The president accepted no spending cuts back in the ‘fiscal cliff’ deal 45 days ago, so you get no spending cuts back then, then you’re going to get no revenue now.”
The president wants a balanced package in an effort to stave deep automatic spending cuts that will immediately take an $85 billion chunk out of the budgets of the Pentagon and other government programs.
The 10-year plan, approved by a “supercommittee” of bipartisan lawmakers in 2011, calls for $1.2 trillion in cuts over a decade.
Meanwhile, Cole also addressed two other hot-button issues: overseas drone strikes and gun violence at home.
As for the president’s sweeping proposals to curb gun violence, Cole said he expected congressional agreement on improved mental health programs and possibly enhanced background checks but expressed doubt that anything that would directly affect gun ownership will get through Congress.
In regards to overseas strikes against terrorists, even those who are American citizens, Cole suggested that perhaps the program should be scaled back since by only killing suspects, U.S. intelligence is missing out on gaining valuable information.
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