President Barack Obama and former White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew repeatedly lied last year by claiming congressional Republicans were responsible for the looming $85 billion cut in the federal budget through sequestration, according to The Washington Post editor Bob Woodward.
Based on interviews with two senior White House aides who were directly involved in budget planning, Woodward’s report notes that Obama personally approved Lew’s plan to propose the mandatory trigger to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in July 2011.
A majority of Republicans ultimately voted for the Budget Control Act, which included the sequester.
“The sequester is not something that I’ve proposed,” Obama said during the third presidential debate with Mitt Romney. “It is something that Congress has proposed.”
Woodward noted that Lew echoed the same line while campaigning for the president in Florida in October 2012.
“There was an insistence on the part of Republicans in Congress for there to be some automatic trigger,” Lew said, adding that it “was very much rooted in the Republican congressional insistence that there be an automatic measure.”