House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., suggested that the sequestration fight is revealing that some of her colleagues in Congress are not “on Team America,” based on a comment made by Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., that the sequester cuts are “a home run.”
“Democrats — we want solutions, Republicans want sequestration,” Pelosi said during her press briefing today. “Some of them have even called it a home run. That doesn’t sound like anybody on Team America if they think sequestration’s indiscriminate, mindless cuts across the board are a home run.”
Pompeo made his comment after the State of the Union. “It’s going to be a home run,” Pompeo told Politico. We are doing what the American people asked the US house t do in 2010 when I came here: we are reducing the size and scope of the federal government. I think the American people will have tremendous respect [for it]. I think the markets will respond very positively when we, for the first time, say ‘we have a spending reduction plan and we’re actually going to follow through on it.’”
Pompeo also disputed the idea that the sequester is “gutting every government program that has ever been created,” noting that sequestration only pares government spending back to 2008 levels. “Does anyone think that the federal government was too small in 2008 or 2009?” he asked.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney also attacked Pompeo over the ‘home run’ comment. “We certainly don’t think that’s a home run for ordinary Americans, even if that Congressman thinks it would be for him politically,” Carney said.
“I said that the sequester is a home run not because it is good politics, but because it begins to put America back on the right fiscal track,” Pompeo responded in a statement. “The President is choosing to make this minor reduction in spending painful—by furloughing people—in order to pursue his twin goals of raising taxes and increasing the size of the federal government . . . If it is really that bad, why has he not sent a different set of cuts? The President’s actions—claiming to be upset about the sequester and traveling to Virginia to confuse workers there—are at best disingenuous and at worst just plain mean.”
Team America: World Police is an R-rated cartoon movie that came out in 2004, but Pelosi’s use of that term to criticize Pompeo’s comment is a little awkward given that he” attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating first in his class in 1986,” according to his website, before serving “as a cavalry officer in the U.S. Army, leading troops as they patrolled the Iron Curtain before the fall of the Berlin Wall.”
Pelosi made her comment before President Obama issued a veto threat against a Republican proposal that would ameliorate the mindlessness of the spending cuts by allowing Obama to decide what budgets to downsize.