As Capitol Hill prepares to withstand any fallout stemming from Friday’s sequestration cuts, Obama and the Democrats are increasing pressure to replace the spending cuts with tax increases. Fearful that the House GOP would go along with such a plan, WI Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) warned yesterday that he believes John Boehner would lose his speakership if he caved on higher taxes.
“I don’t quite honestly believe that Speaker Boehner would be speaker if that happens. I think he would lose his speakership,” Johnson told FOX News’ “Special Report.”
The sequester cuts are the result of negotiations in 2011 to lift the debt ceiling. That deal didn’t cut any immediate spending, but promised $1.2 Trillion in across-the-board cuts over the next decade, unless Congress replaced the sequester with an equivalent amount of deficit reduction. Democrats have yet again moved the goal posts and insist now that any package to replace the automatic cuts be balanced between higher taxes and lower spending.
No action will be taken before Friday’s deadline, triggering the start of spending cuts. Democrats hope to turn any public anger over the cuts against the House GOP and force it to accept higher taxes to “turn off” the sequester. Sen. Johnson, who represents WI, home to the House GOP’s chief budget negotiator, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), seems to fear that their strategy may work.
If the House again goes along with a tax increase, activists may soon question the point of having a GOP majority there.