Tuesday, October 21, 2014
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In sequestration debate, Congress can’t continue business as usual

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski writes about sequestration.


Posted on Feb. 24, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Feb. 24, 2013 at 6:32 p.m.

Jackie Walorski represents Indiana’s 2nd District in the U.S. House. She lives in Jimtown. Her website is walorski.house.gov.

Washington is dangerously close to reaching the deadline for sequestration.

This wonky term simply means automatic spending cuts to federal programs — half from domestic and half from military programs. Sequestration is not a solution to improve our economy and create jobs; frankly, it is an irresponsible approach.

President Obama proposed sequestration and insisted it was included in the 2011 debt-limit showdown. Despite the looming $85 billion in cuts rapidly approaching and another $1.1 trillion over the next decade, the White House shamelessly points the finger at Congress.

Sequestration is preventable. In fact, the House of Representatives has twice passed legislation to replace sequestration with common-sense reforms to avoid dangerous spending cuts for American families and our men and women in uniform.

Despite House efforts, the president and Senate have failed to pass the baton and reach a resolution — and American families will once again feel the effects.

As we approach the deadline, Washington is reinforcing the existing disconnect between our nation’s capital and the families we are under oath to represent across the nation.

This Congress was elected to create jobs and reduce wasteful spending, but sequestration negates these goals — throwing another wet blanket on the economy.

As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, it is a privilege to co-sponsor a bill that will prevent an additional round of cuts for one year — replacing sequestration with a responsible alternative. Instead of forcing dangerous cutbacks, this legislation will decrease government spending by reducing the federal employee workforce through attrition and freezing pay for Congress.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said that fiscal uncertainty from sequestration “has become a very serious threat to our national security.” This danger moves beyond military equipment and supplies. While resources are essential to our continued national security, we have to remember that sequestration will have real impacts on the individuals and families who sacrifice each day to make the world a better and safer place. Indiana’s 2nd District is home to important defense resources like AM General and Grissom Air Reserve Base. It is critical that we ensure these facilities remain relevant assets to our communities and national security.

This month the Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan agency, reported the federal government will take in more revenue than ever before in 2013, at a projected $2.7 trillion. However, the president continues to call for higher taxes without spending cuts, despite the $600 billion in tax increases imposed on American families from last year’s fiscal cliff deal.

This is not how Hoosier families run their households or businesses in Indiana. Our common-sense principles guide us to live within our means, even when that means making tough decisions to keep a budget.

If American families can make these sacrifices to survive these tough economic times, it is time for Washington to do the same. This Congress has the opportunity to prevent sequestration and signal to the American people we will not tolerate business as usual.


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