House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio said President Barack Obama knows that $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts will hurt the U.S. military and “no one really wants to go there.”
“Yes, we’ve got the sequester that kicks in in about 13 months, but no one really wants to go there. The secretary of defense has made it clear that if those defense cuts were to go into action that it would gut our military,” Boehner told reporters at the Capitol on Thursday.
“So, I really believe that the president of the United States has a responsibility here as well. He’s the commander and chief. He knows what those cuts will mean to the military and so I frankly believe that the Congress still must work with the president to find a solution to our long term debt,” Boehner said.
The automatic $1.2 trillion in spending cuts include $54.7 billion in cuts each year to defense programs and $54.7 billion to non-defense programs through 2021. The White House has said that President Obama supports the automatic cuts, which were originally “designed” to put pressure on the super committee to reach a deficit reduction agreement.
“The president has been very clear on this. The answer is no. The sequester was designed to be so onerous to have the kind of cuts that were so objectionable to members of both parties in Congress that they would never come to pass. That they would force Congress to work hard and reach a compromise that was responsible and balanced to reduce our deficit and deal with our long term debt challenge,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Wednesday on MSNBC.