After the Congressional supercommittee failed to reach a deal to cut the budget, President Obama tonight vowed to veto any attempts to undo $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts that would take effect in 2013.
“Already some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic spending cuts. My message to them is simple: No. I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending,” he said in the White House briefing room. “There will be no easy off-ramps on this one. We need to keep the pressure up to compromise, not turn off the pressure.”
The president’s threat came just one hour after the leaders of the supercommittee announced they had failed to reach a deal to reduce the deficit, forcing the government to face the automatic cuts.
“The only way these spending cuts will not take place is if Congress gets back to work and agrees on a balanced plan to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion,” Obama said.
The president placed blame for the failure of the supercommittee squarely on Republicans.
“There are still too many Republicans in Congress who have refused to listen to the voices of reason and compromise that are coming from outside of Washington,” he said.
“They continue to insist on protecting a hundred billion dollars worth of tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans at any cost, even if it means reducing the deficit with deep cuts to things like education and medical research, even if it means deep cuts in Medicare… They simply will not budge from that negotiating position. And so far, that refusal continues to be the main stumbling block that has prevented Congress from reaching an agreement to further reduce our deficit,” Obama said.
The president praised Democrats, however, for being willing to “put politics aside” and make reasonable adjustments to achieve a balanced approached to reducing the deficit.