An Oklahoma Republican said discussions with Democrats have to turn from stopping sequestration cuts to redistributing the across-the-board slices.
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said on MSNBC he believes the March 1 sequestration is inevitable.
“I think it’s certainly possible to redistribute the cuts. Republicans did that twice last year; certainly willing to sit down with the president and renegotiate where they’re form. It’s $85 billion out of a $3.5 trillion budget. So we certainly can minimize any discomfort if the president is willing to do that,” Cole said. “But the cuts themselves are going to occur.”
The congressman said cuts in the Budget Control Act is law can be bargained with like the tax increase in January and the fiscal cliff.
“We worked with the president and redistributed those taxes. We should work here and redistribute the cuts. If the president will do that he will find a willing negotiating partner,” Cole said.
That’s doesn’t include new taxes.
“The president got revenue, six weeks ago with no spending cuts whatsoever. This time it’s spending cuts with no revenue,” he said. “Down the road we will have another negotiation over the budget and the continuing resolution, eventually the debt ceiling again. But in this case, I don’t think there is any room for revenue at all.”
“…We can certainly do a better job of where the cuts come. We can make them much, less painful. But they do need to occur. We’re running trillion dollar deficits. We need to get the fiscal house in order.”
“And frankly, the president hasn’t presented a plan less than a week out. There is no presidential plan on the table as to what he would suggest. We have known this has been coming for 18 months. We tried to deal with it,” Cole added. “The president and the Democrats in Senate have not. So we are here largely because they wouldn’t work with us and we are still willing to work with them.”