On the same day Republican House Speaker John Boehner was airing out his frustration to the media, President Barack Obama was in Virginia on Feb 26 warning of the fiscal "pain" to come.
That pain is coming in the form of the so-called "sequester" which will reduce federal spending across the board by 10 percent in this year if Congress cannot come to a solution by Mar. 1. Obama was at a shipbuilding plant in Newport News, along with Republican Rep. Scott Rigell, to outline the cuts that Virginia would be burden with if the sequester becomes a reality. Obama told the crowd:
The problem is, when you're cutting 85 billion dollars in seven months, which represents over a 10 percent cut in the defense budget...there's no smart way to do that. These cuts are wrong, they're not smart, and they’re not fair. They're a self-inflicted wound that doesn't have to happen.
Obama was in Virginia on Feb. 26 to warn the state of the across-the-board cuts that would be equally as damaging to the shipbuilding industry, the main economic engine on the Virginia coastline. According to NBC News, Obama's speech came hours after House Speaker John Boehner used "PG-13" language to express his frustration with the White House and the Senate. Boehner suggested that Senate members "get of their ass" and try to pass a budget deal to offset sequestration.
As Boehner was putting the blame on the Senate, Obama was returned the favor by shifting the blame to House Republicans, who Obama claims are unwilling to come to the table on tax reform that would offset budget cuts. He told the crowd:
Too many Republicans in Congress right now refuse to compromise even an inch when it comes to closing tax loopholes and special interest tax breaks. And that's what (is) holding things up right now.
Representative Rigell, who accompanied President Obama on his trip to Newport News, told NBC News on Air Force One before the event that even though his party opposes more tax hikes, he has advised his colleagues in the House to stop resisting against closing tax loopholes. He told the media:
I don't think that's a wise position and I don't hold that value.
Congress has until Mar. 1 to pass a budget bill to offset sequestration.