McConnell: Congress must keep promise by cutting, but it's up to Democrats to change source of cuts

02/11/2013 08:27 AM

Cutting $2.1 trillion over 10 years as the so-called sequester calls for is a promise to the American people Congress must keep, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell told Republicans in Nelson County on Saturday.

Speaking at a dimly-lit country club banquet hall outside of Bardstown, McConnell said it’s “not nearly enough but a lot better than you’d expect from a government we don’t control.”

The sequester — a leftover from the 2011 negotiations over raising the nation’s debt ceiling — would apply across-the-board cuts to government programs, including defense. The cuts would amount to about 7.6 percent for most programs, about 10 percent for defense programs and 2 percent for Medicare.

Here’s what McConnell said:

In a brief interview after the Nelson County Lincoln Day Dinner, McConnell said an across-the-board sequester is “arguably not the best way to do it.”

But he said it would be up to President Barack Obama or the Senate Democratic majority to suggest alternative cuts that still add up to the $2.1 trillion over 10 years. (The federal government currently has a budget of $3.6 trillion a year.)

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He has covered politics for more than 10 years, including 7 years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Follow Ryan on Twitter @cn2Alessi. Ryan can be reached at 502-792-1135 or ryan.alessi@twcnews.com.

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