White House Cranks Up Pressure with Stark, But Vague, Sequester Report

National Journal
Sep. 15, 2012

When the much-anticipated White House report landed in inboxes on Friday afternoon, budget watchers were anxious to pore through the 400 pages detailing more than 1,200 budget accounts to understand just how painful sequestration might be next year.

No such luck. With roughly two months before Congress heads into a lame-duck session, the White House instead opted to crank up the pressure on Congress by providing few new details on the ramifications of sequestration...

The report gives the Republicans on the Hill and on the campaign trail no new political ammunition to use against the Obama campaign. All it does is continue to highlight the deeply destructive nature of the cuts, which the administration repeatedly has called “bad policy,” before it volleys the problem back to Capitol Hill.

“This will dramatize the fiscal cliff, at least the sequester part of it, for most Americans,” said Steve Bell, senior director of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Economic Policy Project. “If you say to them that some crumbling bridges aren’t going to be fixed or some cancer research center is going to be impacted in their hometown, then they’ll pay attention.”