Republicans accused the White House of having selective amnesia Wednesday after President Obama’s top spokesman blamed Republicans for an unexpectedly dismal GDP report that showed the economy contracting in the fourth quarter. The White House had suggested GOP willingness to let sweeping defense cuts take effect was the culprit — but an aide to House Speaker John Boehner quickly reminded Democrats that Republicans have tried to stop those cuts.
“These arbitrary, automatic cuts were a creation and demand of the White House in 2011,” Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said. “Twice the House has passed legislation to replace them with common sense cuts and reforms. If there was any uncertainty late last year about the sequester, it was because the Democratic-controlled Senate, per usual, never lifted a finger to pass a plan to replace it.”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi earlier alleged that GOP feet-dragging during talks over the fiscal crisis and willingness to accept automatic defense cuts contributed to the economic squeeze. The Commerce Department report showed the economy shrinking for the first time since 2009.
“Consumer confidence overall has been rising, and consumer spending has been rising, but there’s more work to do, and our economy is facing a major headwind … and that’s Republicans in Congress,” Carney said Wednesday.