House Speaker John Boehner (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
With across-the-board federal spending cuts set to kick in on Friday, House Speaker John Boehner reiterated his plea for the Senate to pass an alternative to the sequester, calling on senators to get "off their ass."
"We should not have to move a third bill before the Senate gets off their ass and begins to do something," Boehner said on Tuesday. "It's time for the Senate to act."
Last year, the House passed two bills that would replace the $85 billion in automatic cuts known as the sequester, which are set to begin March 1. But the Republican-led chamber has declined to act since the new Congress convened this year, waiting for the Democrat-led Senate to pass its own replacement bill. The upper chamber is expected to vote on two competing bills before the March 1 deadline: A Democratic measure that achieves the same amount of deficit reduction with tax increases and a Republican version that contains only spending cuts.
Boehner added that he's prepared to keep the House in session this week to work with the Senate on a sequester alternative, but it's unlikely both chambers will be able to finish work on a bill by Friday.