Mitchell Reports | February 18, 2013
>>> anding the white house seem to be playing a game of political chicken with $85 billion and across the board budget cuts at stake. less than two weeks from now. join me for today's political briefing politico's jake sherman. we've seen this before, and this one doesn't seem as dramatic because things won't sort of happen right away by the end of march then we have the resolution and another deadline. the bottom line is that the bhous is putting out its scare list, if you will, from their perspective. these are the big, bad cuts that are going to affect people. what are they talking about particularly?
>> meat inspectors, faa, flight controlors.
>> pre-k. national parks . you're talking about a broad swath of things that will get slash iffed they can't figure out how to solve the sequester. as you said, we're in polar corners right now. there's nothing going on. hardly any talks. john boehner and harry reid met last week, and they emerged from the meeting saying the same line that they're saying publicly to reporters. they said privately. the senate needs to move is john boehner 's message sfwloosh the fact is that both sides blaming the other. they all signed on because the sequester was approved as a matter of legislation, but it was, as bob woodward reports in his book, it was a white house proposal to the hill to get past a previous budget crisis .
>> one of the most curious lines in washington right now that this is obama's sequester. yes, the president might have proposed it. house republicans pushed it through their chamber, and the senate pushed it through the senate. it's really everybody's responsibility. all hands were on deck in 2011 when they did this. now, both sides have political advantages to stay where they are. the senate needs taxes. house republicans cannot put any tax revenue in this equation because john boehner passed tax increases with the fiscal cliff and cannot afford to do it again politically. it's too difficult for him.
>> what about what's happening inside the caucus? the sort of rivalries, cantor and boehner and paul ryan sort of moving up on the inside? who is the most influential player right now in that caucus when it comes to budget decisions?
>> it's john -- still it's three people. john boehner , eric cantor , and paul ryan , and paul ryan and cantor are going to keep boehner to the right. i mean, cantor and ryan's advisors have told us privately there is no opening for tax revenue in this deal at all. i'm want sure if john boehner would do it independently of them, but the people that we've seen who have been completely ineffective are the people on the house armed services committee , the people who make these decisions usually, but the chairman has not been able to sway boehner at all. we've seen the stalemate because of that, and cantor and rooen are going to keep boehner on the right.
>> people outside the process are saying this is the dumbest way to do business, to have a meat ax approach and have across the board cuts. yes, it does achieve some budget savings, but does it not in any kind of intelligent way of planning.
>> which is why if you talk to the people on capitol hill , the people who are making these decisions, they say that down the road if there are huge economic damages -- i mean, we don't really know what's going to happen to the economy if the sequester stays in place. the theory is it's going to be pretty bad. congress could back fill some of those cuts april or may or down the road, could dump them a little bit more money to the pentagon and try to offset some of the damages. right now we really don't know, and there's really no one that has proposed anything that could pass both chambers at this point.
>> jake sherman, thank you very