By Mike Lillis – 02/20/13 03:52 PM ET
House Democrats on Wednesday amplified their calls for Congress to return to Washington and work to prevent across-the-board sequester cuts poised to hit in nine days.
Echoing President Obama, the Democrats are warning of the dire effects those automatic cuts would have on jobs and the nascent economic recovery.
They’re hoping the lull of this week’s congressional recess will attract attention to the Republicans’ stated willingness to allow the sequester to take effect on March 1 rather than submit to new tax revenues, as the Democrats are demanding.
“Speaker [John] Boehner should call the Congress back into session [and] we should act to prevent this self-inflicted loss of three-quarters of a million jobs,” Rep. Rob Andrews (D-N.J.) said in a phone call with reporters.
“Being on recess during this period is absolutely absurd,” echoed Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.).
The Democrats repeatedly blamed House Republicans for leaving town, but did not mention that Senate Democratic leaders have also kept to this week’s scheduled recess.
House Democratic leaders argued last week that the onus is on Boehner and GOP leaders to act first because, constitutionally, any proposal that raises revenues must originate in the House.
“I’m sure that we can get [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid [to] come back if Speaker Boehner will join with us in supporting the plan the House and Senate Democrats and the president of the United States support to avoid the sequester,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), senior Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said on Thursday.
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