White House officials point to last week’s fiscal-cliff agreement to “buy down” the sequester for two months. The deal delayed the implementation of automatic across-the-board spending cuts to domestic and defense programs and paid for it with $12 billion in revenues and $12 billion in spending cuts — evenly divided between defense and non-defense spending.
Administration officials view that as a template for future deficit-reduction agreements.
“Obviously, that second half of the fiscal cliff is the tough spending decisions,” he said. “During the course of the campaign I often talked about 2-1 as a total. That would count all the spending reductions that have already been agreed to.”
“I think if you’re looking at a 70-30 ratio, somewhere in between 2 to 1 and 3 to 1, I think that’s a reasonable position,” said newly elected Sen. Chris Murphy (D) of Connecticut, who noted he is from a “fiscally responsible” state.
And she lamented the state of the modern GOP, arguing that Democrats' record of cooperation with President George W. Bush during his two terms was not matched by today's "over-the-edge" GOP.
"This is really an over-the-edge crowd, that's the way I see it," she said. "The fact is that it is dominated by an element that are anti-government ideologues, and are committed to not cooperating with this president, and it is hard to understand."