- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sen. Rand Paul said Sunday that Republicans in the Senate are willing to compromise in the ongoing negotiations over the government shutdown and the looming debt ceiling, but cautioned that Democrats should not expect concessions on the already-negotiated sequester caps.

“The one thing I cannot accept, the one thing that I think is not even a compromise at all, is the Democrats’ want to exceed the sequester caps, things that we’ve put into law to restrain spending already,” the Kentucky Republican said on CNN.

“It’s funny. They’re all about Obamacare being the law of the land, but so’s the sequester,” he said. “If we exceed that, it’s real big step in the wrong direction.”

The sequesters, adopted as part of an earlier agreement to raise the debt ceiling in 2011, aren’t actually cuts, but mandatory across-the-board reductions in the rate of increase of government spending. Democrats, sensing momentum is on their side in the ongoing budget negotiations, are looking now to roll back at least some of those sequester reductions.

Mr. Paul, a tea party favorite, said that’s asking too much.

“I can’t imagine you’re going to get Senate Republicans to vote for something that exceeds the sequester caps. I think it’s a huge mistake for the country,” he told CNN’s Candy Crowley.

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