POLITICS
02/19/2013 01:04 pm ET

Lisa Murkowski: The Sequester 'Is Pretty Tough Medicine'

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) criticized the looming sequester cuts Monday, despite the fact that she voted for the bill that put the cuts into place.

"Nobody likes this meat cleaver approach (the sequester). This is pretty tough medicine,” she said to reporters in Fairbanks, Alaska, according to the Daily News-Miner. President Barack Obama also referred to the sequester as the "meat cleaver approach."

“I don’t think that’s the best proposal, but I also don’t think that a wise proposal is one-for-one, taxes for cuts," Murkowski said. "I think it’s time we put some real serious cuts in place.” According to the News-Miner, she said that she would prefer cuts to government departments and Medicare and Social Security.

“Basically, we go from impasse to crisis and then we punt,” she said. “That’s not governing.”

Murkowski voted for the Budget Control Act of 2011 that mandated sequestration cuts if a congressional "super committee" did not come up with an equivalent of $1.2 trillion in budget cuts, which it did not. She also voted for the deal to resolve the so-called fiscal cliff, which delayed the start of sequestration from January 1 to March 1 of this year.

Murkowski and other Republicans oppose using revenue increases to replace the looming cuts. Senate Democrats have proposed replacing 10 months' worth of cuts with an equal mix of spending cuts and revenue increases, a move which Murkowski opposes.

Obama, who signed the Budget Control Act into law, warned of the impact of the sequester cuts Tuesday and put the blame on Republicans.

"People will lose their jobs," he said. "The unemployment rate might tick up again."

"So far at least, the ideas that the Republicans have proposed ask nothing of the wealthiest Americans or the biggest corporations," Obama said. "So the burden is all on the first responders, or seniors or middle class families."

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