The same game plays out in the House
The back-and-forth was little different, in tone, in the House.
Speaker John Boehner, referred to two GOP-authored bills the chamber passed last Congress on partisan lines to replace the now-imminent spending cuts. Democrats dismissed the bills, which had no chance of clearing the Senate or surviving a presidential veto, as ideological showboating. Furthermore, the bills are null for the moment since they didn't pass the House as presently constituted.
But that didn't stop Boehner, an Ohio Republican, from trying to put the onus on the Democratic-led Senate.
"We've done our work," he said Thursday morning. Senators have "not done theirs. The House shouldn't have to pass a third bill to replace the (looming cuts) before the Senate passes one."
Pelosi says spending cuts = war on women
Friday "is the beginning of Women's History Month," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, told reporters on Capitol Hill. "We like to think of it as Women's Progress Month, acknowledging our history, seeing what more we have to do. And why I mention these two points is because of the impact of (the current spending cuts package) on women. It is specific, it is large, and it's substantial, and it must be avoided."
"Just consider this," Pelosi added. "Cuts to women's health from prenatal care to cancer screenings, cuts to services, to victims of domestic violence -- $20 million will be cut out of the Violence Against Women account. ... Cuts to initiatives to support children and families, like WIC (the Women, Infants, and Children program) and Head Start, cuts to public sector jobs, where women are 50% more likely than men to be employed, and therefore fired."
Democrats "come to Washington to be legislators," she insisted. "Somehow, that piece is missing in what the Republicans are doing here. They're just making noise. They're just saying something that might have good sound for domestic consumption back home. But they did not come here to legislate."