In it, but not of it. TPM DC

White House To GOP: Only One Way Around Defense Cuts -- And You're Not Gonna Like It

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This doesn't constitute a change in the White House's position. But the renewed declaration is significant given a growing push among GOP members and their leaders for annulling those cuts.

The debt limit deal included an enforcement mechanism -- $1.2 trillion in automatic, across the board cuts (half taken from defense) in the event that a powerful, bipartisan committee failed to reduce the deficit by the same amount over 10 years. That panel failed in November, and now Republicans want to nix the portion of the enforcement mechanism that was designed to make them negotiate a balanced deficit reduction plan, including new tax revenues, in good faith with Democrats.

It's shaping up to be a defining fight on Capitol Hill in the months leading up to the election.

About The Author

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Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com