WASHINGTON--Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Friday urged Republicans to "step up" to help avoid the looming March 1 sequester--automatic budget cuts unless Congress acts--and suggested to his former GOP colleagues they see the movie "Lincoln"--up for a best picture Academy Award on Sunday--to learn how to "get things done."
LaHood, at the Friday White House briefing said, "I think Republicans need to step up here. I served for 14 years. During those 14 years, I was a -- 12 of those years, I was in the majority party. Speaker Gingrich was the speaker. He worked with then-President Bill Clinton. We balanced the budget five of those 14 years. That's -- it meant that there was compromise. This requires compromise. This requires Republicans stepping forward with some ideas about how to keep essential services of government running at the level that people have been accustomed to. This is not rocket science. This is people coming together the way that other Congresses have done to solve big -- to big -- solve big issues.
"I suggest that my former colleagues on the Republican side go see the movie "Lincoln" because in the movie "Lincoln," it shows how hard it was back then to get things done. But what Lincoln did is he gathered people around him the way that I believe President Obama is doing, by calling Republicans, talking to them, trying to work with them. And when that happens, big things get solved. The "fiscal cliff" got solved because people started talking to one another. So this can happen again."