House Speaker John Boehner insisted that any increase in the debt limit be matched dollar-for-dollar in spending cuts and reforms, but as the federal government ran critically low on cash, Congress had only agreed to about $1.2 trillion in savings.
Still, the debt limit was increased under an agreement that called on the bipartisan "super-committee" to negotiate an additional $1.2 trillion in savings, or face sequestration -- meaning the automatic cuts that include those defense cuts and items unpalatable to each party.
After the super-committee failed to strike a deal, the country was left with sequestration. The Obama administration, including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, have warned what the cuts would mean for the military.
Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said the two Repubican running mates contradicted each other in their separate interviews on the issue of sequestration.
"The fact remains that we could prevent the automatic defense cuts if Congressional Republicans drop their refusal to ask for another dime from millionaires and billionaires," Smith said in a statement.
The Wisconsin congressman is spending the day gearing up for his debate with Vice President Joe Biden, scheduled for Oct. 11. He's in what has been described as a "remote" part of Oregon where he was expected to do prep all day, aside from a short break to watch his Green Bay Packers.