Congressman Terry on Impact of Sequester on Department of Defense Civilian Personnel
February 20, 2013
OMAHA, NE – Representative Lee Terry (R-NE) today made the following statement in response to the Pentagon’s announcement that 800,000 civilian personnel will be furloughed as part of sequestration:
“Two years ago when the President proposed sequestration as part of a grand bargain; I supported it in good faith. My assumption was this President was willing to work with Congress to reform out-of-control Washington spending and reduce our national debt. Unfortunately, the emphasis from the President has been on raising taxes rather than cutting spending.
“Therefore, I've joined my colleague's, twice voting to end the sequester and put in place common sense reforms that will reduce our deficit and prevent these devastating cuts.
“Today’s announcement by the Pentagon is disappointing. It makes no sense for us to go through with the sequester when the Federal government by its own estimates has made over $115 billion in improper entitlement payments; is spending billions each year maintaining vacant government buildings; and, paying $1.2 million for seniors to play video games in the name of ‘research’.
“Everyone knows we can’t continue to kick the can down the road. And these civilian personnel, some of whom are my constituents and work at Offut AFB, shouldn’t be used as political footballs.
“When I held my first hearing last week as Chairman of the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade subcommittee, I did so in cooperation with my colleagues across the aisle. The result was a bipartisan tone that I hope will continue through this Congress.
“There is time still left. The President can set a bipartisan tone and I urge him to come to the table rather than putting this crucial part of our national security on the menu."
3 Omissions from President Obama's Press Conference on His Sequester
1. The sequester was President Obama's idea.
- President Obama and his team were the first to propose the sequester. Bob Woodward and Jay Carney both confirmed this over the past week.
2. Republicans passed two plans to replace the President's sequester, yet Senate Democrats have passed no replacement.
- House Republicans took steps to replace President Obama's sequestration, passing bills on two separate occasions to replace the sequester with responsible spending cuts and reforms. The Democratic-controlled Senate did not consider either bill.
- H.R. 5652, Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act
- H.R. 6684, Spending Reduction Act of 2012
3. In 2013 the federal government will take in more revenue than ever before.
Gop Leaders Slam Obama sequester speech
By Jake Sherman
2/19/13 11:53 AM EST
Congressional Republican leaders slammed President Barack Obama’s sequester speech Tuesday with only two weeks to go until massive across-the-board spending cuts take effect.
House Speaker John Boehner asked what “spending is the president willing to cut” to keep first responders employed.
“Washington Democrats’ newfound concern about the president’s sequester is appreciated, but words alone won’t avert it,” Boehner said in a statement. “Replacing the president’s sequester will require a plan to cut spending that will put us on the path to a budget that is balanced in 10 years.”
And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Obama proved Tuesday that “more than three months after the November election, President Obama still prefers campaign events to common sense, bipartisan action.”
“Surely the president won’t cut funds to first responders when just last year Washington handed out an estimated $115 billion in payments to individuals who weren’t even eligible to receive them, or at a time when 11 different government agencies are funding 90 different green energy programs,” McConnell said in a statement. “That would be a terrible and entirely unnecessary choice by a president who claims to want bipartisan reform.”
Boehner’s office declined a POLITICO request to speak to the Ohio Republican. Congress is out of session this week as the sequester deadline looms.
Obama and House Republicans have diametrically different policy prescriptions for solving the automatic cuts that take hold March 1. Boehner wants the package to be solely spending cuts; Obama prefers a mix of cuts and new tax revenue from closing loopholes in the tax code.
“We should close loopholes and carve-outs in the tax code, but that revenue should be used to lower rates across the board,” Boehner said in a statement sent out by his office. “Tax reform is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to boost job creation in America. It should not be squandered to enable more Washington spending. Spending is the problem, spending must be the focus.”
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