The leaders of the Republican Governors Association (RGA) slammed both President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress for not finding a solution to the sequester’s autoatic spending cuts, which are set to go into effect on March 1.
At a press conference held after the Republican governors met with Obama at the White House, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, appearing with RGA Chairman and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, said “after this meeting, I came back and I told Bobby and Scott I could not be more frustrated than I am right now.”
“How many more times are the governors going to have to pick up the mess of Washington, D.C.,” she asked. “How many more times are we going to have to deal with these issues over and over again because of the finger pointing and the blame game that happens in Washington?”
Haley said the task of figuring out more reasonable budget cuts to replace the sequester cuts, which Obama has warned will have dire consequences, is something her kids could do.
“This is not rocket science. What this is is an inability to want to get to work. No one should be going home. No one should be playing golf. No one should be taking vacation. What they need to do is do what these governors do every day: We stay until we get it done,” she said, in a jab at both the president, who spent the weekend golfing in Florida, and Congress, which recessed last week.
Jindal accused Obama of “trying to scare the American people” by portraying the cuts as dire. Jindal said that the president’s unwillingness in talks with the governors — to consider possible alternatives to the sequester that did not involve raising taxes — showed that they were not as “devastating” as he was suggesting they were.
“It just seems to us that it is time for the president to roll up his sleeves, to stop campaigning — the election is over — and to do the hard work of governing,” Jindal said.
“There is a complete lack of leadership or responnsiblity or accountability in this town,” Haley added.
Walker said that as governors, when budget cuts needed to be made, they had to “put up or shut up.” It was time, he said, for the federal government to do the same.
He made a point of adding that Republicans in Congress were just as negligent in this regard.
“We’re not here speaking on behalf of Republicans on the Hill, we’re speaking on behalf of Republican governors,” Walker said. “The contrast is, we’re providing leadership.”