According to several sources who attended this morning’s GOP conference meeting, House Republicans are amused by President Obama’s theatrics about the sequester, since the White House partly engineered the policy. “There was a lot of laughter about the president traveling roadshow,” says one GOP member, who requested anonymity to speak freely about the closed-door session. “We’re all concerned about the sequester, but we just don’t understand why the president has to travel thousands of miles to campaign about this, when all he really has to do is travel 1.5 miles to visit Harry Reid and figure something out.”
Speaker John Boehner reportedly told his colleagues to hold their ground, even as Democrats ramp up their public-relations campaign on the sequester. “He told us to stay on offense,” says a second GOP member. “He wants us to stand up and articulate our position. He encouraged us to talk about the replacement packages that we’ve already passed, and to not worry about every story in the press.”
Boehner did not signal any movement toward a deal with the president. The meeting was “light” and “relatively boring,” according to a House staffer. “It was an update. People came back after a week back home, caught up, and heard more of the same on the sequester.”
Another topic discussed among a group of members was technology. Republicans are worried about the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s email list, which includes more than 1 million subscribers. They’d like the National Republican Campaign Committee to continue to build its web presence and e-mail lists in the run-up to the 2014 midterm elections.