Fact-Checking House Speaker John Boehner (Video)


“There’s no plan from Senate Democrats or the White House to replace the sequester. And over the last 10 months, House Republicans have acted twice to replace the sequester.” — House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, during a Sunday appearance on “Meet The Press.”

There were votes on Capitol Hill last week, followed by a high-level Friday White House meeting down Pennsylvania Avenue. But there was no serious effort to again delay or permanently replace the sequestration cuts. And there were plenty of iffy statements like the one uttered by the speaker.

But there were votes in the Senate, and even though it was narrowly defeated, the upper chamber did in fact vote on a Democratic-crafted plan that would have addressed the twin $500 billion cuts to planned defense and domestic spending. Which makes Boehner’s statement so eyebrow-raising.

He’s right on two counts: The GOP-controlled House did indeed approve two measures on the sequestration cuts. And while President Obama and White House officials floated ideas, there was never a formal White House plan submitted to lawmakers to turn into legislation.

But Boehner is simply wrong about the Senate Democrats. They did indeed release a bill, S.388, on Feb. 14. And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid brought it — and a Republican sequestration bill that also was defeated — to a floor vote last Thursday.

In fact, here’s the text of the Democratic bill. And here is a DefenseNews.com article posted shortly after S.388 was released.

Boehner might have meant Senate Democrats did not offer a plan that was ever going to pass their own chamber, much less the House. Which is, of course, just what was said about the two sequester measures Boehner pushed through the House.



John T. Bennett

John T. Bennett

Bennett is the Editor of Defense News' CongressWatch channel. He has a Masters degree in Global Security Studies from Johns Hopkins University.
John T. Bennett