Political Animal


February 28, 2013 3:46 PM Sequester Wins

By Ed Kilgore

In case anyone out there thought there was a chance Congress would delay or replace the appropriations sequester before it goes into effect tomorrow: sorry, no such luck. The Senate Democratic plan was filibustered to death by Republicans; a motion to bring it up could only command 52 votes, 8 short of the chamber’s de facto 60-vote requirement absent real filibuster reform. The three votes Democrats lost—Hagan, Landrieu and Pryor—are all up for re-election next year, but I’m guessing their opposition had as much do to with cuts in ag subsidies as the bill’s revenue measures, which Republicans are going to try to spin as toxic to red-state voters.

The Republican “replacement” bill which was allegedly aimed at giving the Obama administration more flexibility to implement the sequester did not fare as well, losing 38-62 as nine GOPers voted against it (2 Democrats, Baucus and Warner, voted for it).

So the sequester is happening, and unless there’s some big and immediate buyer’s remorse, the action—or inaction—will now shift to the upcoming expiration on March 27 of a continuing appropriations resolution for the rest of the fiscal year, which could either confirm or reverse (in whole or in part) the spending levels set by the sequester.

In the meantime, of course, we’ll get to witness the spin battle over the impact of the sequester, with Republicans torn between whining about defense cuts and claiming it’s all a nothing-burger that proves we still need some real spending reductions (on the domestic side of the ledger, of course).

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • c u n d gulag on February 28, 2013 4:58 PM:

    One question:
    Do the convicted workers get a 'last meal?'

    At least Rome had an excuse - they had lead in the water.
    What's the excuse of our Congress?

  • Peter C on February 28, 2013 5:43 PM:

    Great. They 'shot the hostage', who turned out to be our own foot. That's our Congress for ya! Too bad no one will get any gain from all the pain.

  • jkl; on February 28, 2013 8:41 PM:

    Let's not forget the Republicans' inaction on jobs and their extreme interest in our ladyparts, as well as in denying men, women and children access to medical insurance. Thin skinned exhibitionists without a cause other than being disagreeable with the first African American president.

  • square1 on March 01, 2013 12:28 AM:

    Oops! A bipartisan farce of epic proportions.

  • jkl; on March 01, 2013 3:23 AM:

    Salaries and benefits to political beings who created this situation remain in place, unaffected.

    Politicians and media pundits disgrace themselves as they prey on peoples' fears, while scarfing up big bucks and perks. That's you too, Joe Scarborough.