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Exclusive interview: John Boehner on sequestration

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said Monday the only way to avoid damaging budget cuts at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is for the President and Senate Democrats to agree to other spending cuts, rather than try to raise taxes.

Boehner’s comments came in a one-on-one interview with WHIO-TV at the Middletown campus of Cincinnati State Community College.

“I do not like the sequester any more than anybody does but we’ve got a serious spending problem and it is time for us to deal with it honestly,” Boehner said.

Sequestration is the Congress-approved plan to install automatic across-the-board cuts if no other action is taken by March first.

President Obama is set to deliver his annual State of the Union address to Congress Tuesday evening. Boehner said he would like to hear Obama’s plan for dealing with the budget crisis. “What are the changes and reforms that he would put in place so that we do not have to put the American people through what is going to be a pretty painful period,” Boehner said.

Boehner said he is well aware of the planned furloughs at the base if sequestration goes forward. When asked about his message to employees there, Boehner said if the President steps up and deals with the problem head-on, the Defense Department will be able to able to plan for the future, knowing the funding levels for the next five years.

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