QUESTION: And lastly, everyone agrees that the sequester is a bad idea, but didn’t it originate — the idea for the sequester originate here at the White House?
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, we’ve been through this a lot — I know you’re filling in — but here’s the fundamental fact. During the deficit reduction of the debt ceiling negotiations, because the Republicans refused to embrace balance, refused in the end to join hands with the President and pursue a grand bargain, there was an absolute necessity to avoid default, and both sides were looking for trigger mechanisms — this is complicated budget-speak — to help make this package possible.
The sequester was something that was discussed, and as has been reported, it was an idea that the White House put forward because it was put forward by Republican Senator Gramm and Rudman back in the ’80s as part of the Gramm-Rudman deal — there is a history here to this. But let’s be clear: Republicans embraced it. Every member of the House Republican leadership voted for it. Nearly two to one in the House Republicans voted for it over Democrats. And on the day it passed, the Speaker of the House said he got 98 percent of what he wanted and that he was pretty happy.