Republicans declare victory on sequester

April 27, 2013 at 5:58 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 27 (UPI) -- Congressional Republicans have declared victory following the decision to ease the effect of the sequester on U.S. air traffic control.

Lobbyists for the defense industry and other opponents of across-the-board cuts told The Hill the vote on the Federal Aviation Administration has reduced the chance Congress will deal with the sequestration as a whole. A Republican staffer said there are "no plans" for action.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor said as much Friday in a memo to his caucus.

"Consider that the Democrats opening position was they would only replace the sequester with tax increases," Cantor said. "By the first of this week Senator Reid proposed replacing the whole sequester with phony war savings. And by last night, Senate Democrats were adopting our targeted 'cut this, not that' approach."

The sequester has created an alliance between defense, health and education lobbyists and unions representing federal workers, The Hill said. They say President Obama and Democrats in Congress have lost leverage by agreeing to ease the pain of one place where sequestration was affecting the public most visibly.

"All of this is rearranging the deck chairs. I'm not overly hopeful," said Joel Packer of the Committee for Education Funding. "We are really putting our concentration on fiscal 2014 and beyond."

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