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Congress

Here Comes the Budget Pain

President Obama greets first responders after speaking in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office building on the White House complex in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

photo of Chris Frates
February 19, 2013

With 10 days to go until billions in automatic budget cuts kick in, Washington on Tuesday decided to pay some more lip service to stopping the sequester.

Bowles and Simpson did their bipartisan-solution thing. President Obama trotted out first responders and blamed Republicans for putting rich folks’ tax breaks above everyday heroes. And Republicans continued to blame Obama for coming up with the sequester idea in the first place. 

None of it changed a damn thing.

 

When these cuts go into effect and start cutting services and programs — and there’s no sign yet that they won’t — people aren’t going to parse the blame. They’re going to be indiscriminately angry.

And public wrath might just be the only thing that can forge a bipartisan solution. Because nothing brings adversaries together like shared pain.

This post also ran on The Edge, National Journal's daily look at today in Washington -- and what's coming next. The email features analysis from NJ's top correspondents, insights on the biggest stories of the day -- and always a few surprises. Subscribe here.

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