On ABC's "This Week" Sunday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was asked why he praised the August 2011 law that contained the sequester and the spending cuts it entailed.
His exchange with host Jonathan Karl:
KARL: But Congressman, I've heard you say this and a talking point for Republicans for a long time. This was the president's idea on and on and on, but let's look at your own words. What you said right after the law putting this in place was passed in August of 2011. These are your words. You said "what conservatives like me have been fighting for, for years are statutory caps on spending, literally legal caps in law that says government agencies cannot spend over a set amount of money and if they breach that amount across the board sequester comes in to cut that spending. You can't turn it out without a supermajority. We got that into law."
Now it sounds to me there like if you weren't taking credit for the idea of the sequester, you were certainly suggesting it was a good idea.
RYAN: So those are the budget caps on discretionary spending. Those occurred. We want those. Everybody wants budget caps. The sequester we're talking about now was backing up the super committee. Remember the super committee in addition to those caps was supposed to come up with $1.2 trillion in savings. The Republicans on the super committee offered even higher revenues in exchange for spending cuts as part of that. It was rejected by the president and the Democrats. So no resolution occurred and therefore the sequester is occurring. And what we've always said is let's cut spending in smarter ways to replace this sequester. We passed two bills doing that and we've heard nothing in response from the Senate Democrats or the president.