The last effort by congressional Republicans to soften the sequester blow was to give the White House power to target where the $85 billion in spending reductions would come from. President Obama rejected the offer and the Washington Post is upset about it.
From the paper's lead editorial today:
No doubt the White House didn’t want to “own” potentially unpopular specific cuts any more than the House GOP does. (Two Democrats, including Virginia’s Mark R. Warner, voted to proceed on the bill.)
Washington has reached a strange place indeed when the opposition party offers the president more control over spending — and he refuses it. Apparently, in addition to its policy objections, the White House figured that a softened sequester couldn’t force Republicans to accept a long-term deal including higher revenue. It’s a gamble that the worse things might get now, the better they will get later. A strange place, and a sad one.
Sequestration officially kicks in today.