Reporter Julie Pace Engages Obama in Back-and-Forth: It Sounds Like You're Saying You 'Bear No Responsibility' for These Cuts
President Obama spoke to reporters following a meeting with top lawmakers, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and is set to sign an order that will put into effect $85 billion in automatic spending cuts, known as sequestration.
He called it a “choice that
Republicans in Congress have made,” arguing that he has put forth what he sees as reasonable proposals, but Republicans refuse to talk about generating more revenue through higher taxes or closing tax loopholes.
Associated Press White House correspondent Julie Pace pressed the president on that point, saying it sounds like he's claiming that he "bears no responsibility" for sequestration going into effect.
The president took issue with that, asking point blank what more he can offer to the GOP leadership.
"I've put forward a plan that calls for serious spending cuts, serious entitlement reforms, goes right at the problem that is at the heart of our long-term deficit problem. I've offered negotiations around that kind of balanced approach and so far, we've gotten rebuffed because what Speaker Boehner and the Republicans have said is, 'we cannot do any revenue. We can't do a dime's worth of revenue.' So, what more do you think I should do?" he asked.
Watch the exchange: