Top Republican aides pushed back immediately after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced a plan Tuesday to use war savings to delay sequestration for five months.
The argument from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): It shows Reid is rejecting President Obama's insistence on including tax revenues in any plan to stop or delay the sequester.
"It's big news when the Democrat Senate Majority Leader rejects the President’s demand that air travelers be held hostage to tax hikes," McConnell's spokesman Don Stewart told TPM in an email. "Remember, the White House said they won’t accept any sequester replacement that that doesn’t include even more taxes. Sen. Reid is rejecting that ransom and making clear that Democrats in the Senate are willing to replace the spending cuts in the sequester with other spending cuts. Sadly, the ‘cuts’ he’s chosen aren’t real and have been widely criticized as a budget gimmick -- but it’s great to see him reject the President’s unreasonable demand for more tax hikes. And while the White House and Senate Democrats rejected it, Republicans have attempted to give the Administration (including the FAA) the flexibility to make these cuts in a smarter way -- so the impacts on the public would be diminished. We hope to give Senate Democrats a chance to reconsider their opposition to that as well."
Meanwhile, House Budget Chair Paul Ryan's (R-WI) insists that his budget proposals do not rely on war savings.
"Senator Reid is absolutely incorrect," Ryan's spokeman William Allison emailed TPM. "Not a single penny of claimed spending reductions in any of the recent budgets put forward by House Republicans come from this gimmick."