Sequester Timeline: Automatic Sequestration History Of ‘Poison Pill’

The sequester timeline is a sordid ordeal. No one wants to take responsibility for the fiscal mess in Congress and the sequester is supposed to be avoided at all costs.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, about $85 billion in automatic spending cuts will hit both the Pentagon’s defense budget and domestic programs, which includes roughly $11 billion in cuts coming from Medicare. As a comparison, these spending cuts are a tiny 2.4 percent of the $3.6 trillion worth federal spending that comes out of $15.7 trillion generated by the American economy.

The idea for the automatic sequestration first came about in July of 2011. According to Fox News, Bob Woodward claims the sequester was originally conceived by the Obama White House as a “poison pill” that would force a compromise between entrenched Republicans and Democrats. The idea was so well received by all that a majority of Republicans and Democrats voted for it to be included. President Obama even claimed he would veto any bill that did not include the sequester.

Fast forward to the winter of 2012. The debt ceiling was supposed to be hit on December 31, 2012 and the automatic sequester would be triggered in addition to the Bush era tax cuts expiring. This was the so-called Fiscal Cliff that everyone feared. But while Fiscal Cliff negotiations resulted in some higher taxes, and a short-term budget fix that funded government agencies until March 27, the sequester was kicked down the road to March 1.

Nowadays, no one wants to take credit for coming up with the sequester. Obama’s White House has been quick to blame Republicans, saying that the “balanced” approach would be to increase taxes even more in addition to some spending cuts. On the other side you have those like John Boehner (R-OH) calling the sequester the “obamaquester” in hopes that the label will stick. It has not, and Republicans are being blamed for this crisis by the majority of Americans.

ABC News has put together a different type of sequester timeline that explains what will happen in the coming month of March. Based upon the US Constitution, any budget bills must be originally written in the House. Republicans in the House have passed two bills that allow Obama and Federal agencies greater liberty in how the spending cuts will be proportioned, but so far the Democratic Senate has been sitting on them with no action taken. Instead of forcing the issue, President Obama has been flying around the nation, making speeches that some Republicans have decried as scare tactics.

Instead of playing the blame game, how do you think Obama and Congress should resolve the sequester debate and the impending debt ceiling and government shutdown threat?