The Daily Rundown | February 18, 2013
>>> well, the pressure's supposed to be mounting on capitol hill with less than two weeks before the first round of sequester cuts set to kick in. but is congress feeling the pressure? let's bring it our president's day gaggle, former spokesman, and former minnesota congressman, mark kennedy , who is director of gw's graduate school of political management and he's also part of the fix the debt campaign. congressman, nice to see you. so let me start with sequester. the weekend is still being filled with who started it rather than who's going to solve it? here's a taste.
>> it's the president who proposed this sequester. it's the president who designed this sequester. it's the house republicans who twice passed legislation replacing the sequester with smarter cuts in other areas of government. the senate hasn't passed a bill that replaces the sequester. the president gave a speech showing that he'd like to replace it but he hasn't put any details.
>> you used to be in congress. you were part of this fix the debt campaign. the whole point the sequester and the idea of sequester, it's been used in the '80s, was to force both sides to come together. if this doesn't work, why should we ever believe they'll come together?
>> it's going to be hard but it's easier to do a big deal , easier than at sequester than it is to do a small deal. i think there's not really the trust between the two parties, which is part of it, but also there is this debt denier element that's trying to say if we just do a little bit more, that's enough. it was good to see tom friedman in the washington post --
>> what do you mean by debt deniers.
>> more cutting. or without tax reform is enough. and i think it's that that we're combatting against. we need to be thinking about a big deal that will truly allow us to focus on the other issues important for the country.
>> doug, he's being kind how he's saying it, but the folks arguing, saying we've cut a lot, we don't need to do much more.
>> well, the president has said we need to do about $1.5 trillion more. on paul ryan 's points about sequestration, the only reason was because republicans held the debt hostage. john boehner went out --
>> budget control act.
>> budget control act, i'm sorry. after the budget control act passed, john boehner went out and said i got 98% of what i wanted. right now house republicans went on a nine-day vacation and they haven't put forward a plan to end sequestration in seven weeks.
>> the u.s. senate also went on a vacation. let's not get carried away . jackie, i'm a cynic. i think the cuts are going to go through on march 1st and then they're all going to panic.
>> i don't disagree with you. here's the thing about this particular congress and the last congress is they do wait until the very last minute and all of us are saying, okay, they have to do it in 72 hours or this happens or this can't happen. i don't know that that's going to happen this time because there doesn't seem there's enough buy-in on both sides to get this done. but we're going to see this reflect in the markets and see this reflect in the economy if this does happen, and then you're going to have more finger-pointing.
>> mark, your fix-a-debt, are they going to come down hard on congress, even if it's the republicans , if they believe the republicans are walking away from a deal?
>> we should be pushing both sides for a deal because it's going to take both sides to get the deal done. but when tom friedman in the new york times and the washington post says had the $1.5 trillion that the president is talking about is not enough, is really isn't tax reform . so i think you're seeing a growing crescendo and this will crowd it every issue if we don't address it.
>> you heard the white house say this weekend, when denis mcdonough went out and said you cannot raise the age in medicare because it's a cost-shifting not a cost-saver.
>> that's because, if you raise it to 67, the 65-year-olds, many of them are healthy, medicare isn't spending a lot of money on them. if you move up to 67, you're ending up having to, you're not seeing a lot of saving in revenue there. he has put out an idea -- the democrats have supported an idea on cpi , change cpi , which is something the president --
>> more democrats will support there.
>> yeah, i think the president has taken some flak for that, and there were a lot of reforms in medicare .
>> basically, the republicans -- the white house gives them cpi , and the republicans give them the oil and gas tax things, and there's your sequester deal.
>> one of the things we've seen is it seems both sides are unhappy or happy, and the other side says we want this too. we've seen that in deal after deal after deal when it comes to the debt ceiling. so i think there's a pressing your luck.
>> the larger issue is nobody knows how to sell compromise as victory. everybody seems to want to, i won, he lost. there seems to be too much of this. trivia time. in honor of president's day, washington and lincoln are the most common presidential names for places in the united states . when president's suriname comes in at number three? jackson. there are 94 washington, 70 lincoln, 66 jackson in the united states . congratulations. today's winner, michael diamond . a political trivia question for us? e-mail us at msnbc.com and we'll be right back. no two people