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Boehner: Obama should help Congress replace sequester

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House Speaker John A. Boehner has pressed President Obama to review the automatic spending cuts set to be triggered by last week’s failure of the defunct debt-reduction “supercommittee” and to work with Congress to develop a Plan B.

“The president is the commander in chief. The president I think understands pretty clearly that these cuts would do serious harm to our ability to defend our country and our allies around the world,” the Ohio Republican said Thursday during his weekly briefing with reporters.

“So I believe that there is a role for him to play in this process.”

Many rank-and-file Republicans have pushed to redo the $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts — set to begin in January 2013 — because half would target the Pentagon. Mr. Boehner, who largely avoided speaking out against the so-called “sequester” cuts during the supercommittee almost three-month tenure, in recent days has pushed for alternative cuts to lower the deficit.

“No one really wants to go there” with the automatic cuts as they stand, he said.

Mr. Boehner stopped short of saying sequester redo should be part of ongoing negotiations to extend the payroll tax holiday.

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