McConnell says sequester should have been done differently but "moderate" cuts must happen

03/01/2013 05:16 PM

Negotiations between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans over changing across-the-board “sequester” cuts went nowhere on Friday, so U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell returned to Kentucky.

Finger-pointing over the sequester continued after the morning meeting ended. Obama said at a press conference that he is not a dictator, so he couldn’t stop House Speaker John Boehner and McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, from leaving.

Members of the Kentucky press corps met McConnell at the Louisville airport when he landed from Washington Friday afternoon. He said he and Boehner told the president again what they have said publicly: that they won’t budge on reducing the budget by $85 billion this year and $1.1 trillion dollars over 10 years. That’s what they agreed to in August of 2011 as part of the debt ceiling negotiations, he said.

“And there probably would be a lot better ways to reduce that spending than the formulaic approach of the sequester but we don’t intend to reduce spending by a penny less than we all promised the American people we would reduce spending,” McConnell said at the press gathering.

McConnell went on to say that the American people adjust their budgets by these percentages frequently as the economy slowly recovers from the last four years and the federal government should be able to do the same.

“This is really a quite modest reduction. We should be doing a lot more than this, but this is what we promised the American people that we would do a year and a half ago in a bill that he signed and we are going to do it,” McConnell said.

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