Oklahoma Congressmen Criticize President's Push For Higher Taxes
TULSA, Oklahoma - The newest members of Oklahoma's Congressional delegation have harsh criticism of the sequester plan and the Presidents' push for higher taxes as part of a solution.
U.S. Congressman Jim Bridenstine, (R-Okla.), said it is a terrible policy and the President is the one unwilling to budge.
It all originated as an idea from the White House and was supported by leaders from both aisles, but now even the President calls the automatic sequester cuts "dumb."
He blames Congress.
"I can negotiate," Obama said. "I can make sure that my party is willing to compromise and is not being ideological or thinking about these just in terms of political terms. And I think I've done that; I will continue to do that. But what I can't do is force Congress to do the right thing. The American people may have the capacity to do that."
Bridenstine agrees with the President that the sequester needs to be unwound.
But he says it is the President who won't compromise.
"His only goal is to raise taxes, he's ideologically committed to that," Bridenstine said. " He's not interested in any form of compromise."
Bridenstine says the plan for $87 billion dollars in cuts just this year has led to a terrible problem that needs to be fixed.
The sequestration showdown is over how to do it.
"He just wants to use his bully pulpit and try to bludgeon Republicans in the Congress to do what he wants," Bridenstine said.
While the President said cuts are happening because Republicans failed to act in Congress, Republicans say the fault is with the President for insisting that increased taxes be part of the resolution.
"We have a trillion-dollar deficit. We have more revenue coming in than we have ever had in American history, and the President is saying we need more taxes," Bridenstine said. "That's not the right answer."
Bridenstine said the right idea is to re-balance spending cuts across all areas of government, not just exclusively in discretionary areas, which he says hurts national defense the most.
He predicts it will likely take at least the next month or two to resolve the issue.
"There are going to be a lot of people clamoring for a deal, and I think, at that point, the President might be willing to come to the table," Bridenstine said.
U.S. Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) also said higher taxes won't help, and federal spending is out of control.
"Ready for the dysfunction to stop and for this country to get back on stable fiscal footing by making common-sense cuts to federal spending that do not threaten public safety, national defense or the economy," Mullin said.