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posted: 8/26/2013 5:00 AM

Sequestration was a bipartisan effort

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I am very disappointed that the Herald would print such an obviously misleading letter as that written by Ken Weigand. His assertion that sequestration is the fault of Democrats is so patently false as to be laughable.

While it is true that the sequestration idea came from the Obama administration, its purpose was to placate House Republicans. The entire Budget Control Act of 2011 itself (including the sequestration provision) had to be approved by Congress, but Mr. Weigand conveniently omits that it was approved on an unusual bipartisan basis. The House passed the Act in early August by a vote of 269-161. Voting for it were 174 Republicans and 95 Democrats, while 66 Republicans and 95 Democrats voted against it.

A pleased House speaker and Republican stalwart John Boehner went so far as to say that he got 98 percent of what he wanted in the act. The Senate passed the act the next day, again with Republican support, by a vote of 74-26 and the president signed it shortly thereafter.

An analysis at the time referred to the sequestration provision as the ransom Republican leaders received for agreeing to let the U.S. government pay its bills. If one is looking for someone to blame for sequestration, look to both political parties.

Bill Pohnan Jr.


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