Even after the super committee disbanded without agreement late last year, Congress still had a full year to forestall the first $110 billion annual installment of cuts. It failed.
In May, the House passed a bill along party lines to deal with the sequester, but it would have merely shifted some of the military cuts onto domestic programs, an outcome Democrats said was unacceptable.
If leaders let sequestration take effect next week but promise to deal with it in a few months, when Congress debates a new debt-ceiling increase, Connolly said Americans would have the right to be skeptical.
"Never think something is unthinkable," he said. "That's been the lesson here."