So Much For Sequester Flexibility

The closest thing to the glimmer of a good idea Senate Republicans have had in many years was a budding effort to give executive branch administrators some flexibility in how the appropriations sequester would be administered. It wasn’t a very sincere effort, since those talking about it knew it was going to be rejected by the White House, Senate Democrats, and their own House colleagues–i.e., by everyone needed to make it happen. But still, it at least got the idea of mitigating the exceptional stupidity of the sequester out there in the public eye.

Now that the sequester’s about to actually happen, though, Senate Republicans in the end couldn’t support their own half-decent idea, per this report from Bloomberg’s Kathleen Hunter:

Senate Republicans offered a bill that would keep the spending cuts, while allowing Obama to submit his own plan by March 15 for allocating them. The measure would let Congress vote within a week to reject the president’s plan and keep the original, across-the-board cuts in place. Some Senate Republicans have said such a plan would cede too much power to Obama. The measure is S.16.

So instead of “flexibility,” the administration would be given the option of dropping its standing offer of a revenues-plus-cuts sequester replacement and presenting an all-cuts version, which Congress could then reject. That is so, so not happening, for a lot of obvious reasons. And it means the sequester will kick in with all the original stupidity it was provided to make it all but impossible to occur. Nice.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.