Congressman Lynn Westmoreland: The Sequester Is Not The Solution

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Congressman Lynn Westmoreland:

With the March 1st deadline having passed and no deal in sight, according to the president his own sequester has pink slips being printed, leaving millions of families uneasy and employers on edge. After all of the speeches and state visits, we still don’t have a plan from the president or Senate Democrats. The campaign rhetoric may have gotten President Obama reelected, but it’s not how you get business done. What the American people need are real solutions, not speeches.

In 2011, the bipartisan plans for the Budget Control Act were presented to the president, and the White House insisted the sequester be included into this plan. In fact, that is one of the reasons I voted against the Budget Control Act. The sequester required that $1.2 trillion in arbitrary, across-the-board cuts be split between defense and non-defense spending. The Secretary of Defense has been saying for over a year that this will “hollow out” our military. The president himself said it’s a “really bad idea,” and his press secretary, Jay Carney, admitted it was the president’s “really bad idea.” But where are the president’s and Senate Democrat’s plans to fix this mess that they created?

House Republicans have passed two bills to replace the president’s sequester – one six months ago and one only six weeks ago.  The two bills were the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act and the Spending Reduction Act of 2012. These bills focused on cutting wasteful government spending, like duplicates, slush funds, and improper payments, and replacing it with common-sense alternatives.

We can’t tax our way out of this deficit, and we certainly can’t tax Americans more for the president’s bad policy. With America sitting on a debt of over $16 trillion, we need to focus on sensible spending reductions and responsible reforms because we have a spending problem, and the sequester is not the solution.

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