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Black's Statement on President & Senate Democrats’ Failure to Replace Sequester Cuts

Feb 28, 2013 Issues: Immigration, Spending Cuts and Debt

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Congressman Diane Black (R-TN), member of the House Ways and Means Committee and Budget Committee, released the following statement on the failure of President Obama and the Democrat-controlled Senate to replace the arbitrary, across-the-board sequester cuts set to take effect tomorrow, Friday, March 1st.

“As even the president will admit, his sequester is the wrong way to reduce the deficit. The difference is: the House Republicans have offered an alternative, where as the president has not. With my support, the Republican-led House has passed legislation on two occasions to replace the president’s sequester with common sense cuts and reforms that would lead to a balanced budget in a decade. The president has refused to put forward any plan to replace his arbitrary, across-the-board sequester cuts. Instead, he has traveled thousands of miles across the country using scare tactics and misinformation to fuel his reckless campaign for more tax hikes, in spite of the fact that he already got more than $600 billion in tax hikes with the fiscal cliff deal two months prior. Moreover, the Democrat-controlled Senate has ignored the House sequester replacement bills and waited until hours before the deadline to vote on a gimmicky tax hike bill, which ultimately failed to gain the support needed for passage.

“By offering no specific plan for reallocating the sequester cuts, the president is needlessly jeopardizing our national security and public safety. For example, the Department of Homeland Security recently indicated that approximately 5,000 border patrol agents will be let go and hundreds of illegal immigrants currently detained will be released. I sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano yesterday demanding answers about how and why the department is not taking steps within its legal authority to cut wasteful spending and eliminate low priority positions, such as its politically appointed illegal alien lobbyist position. There are certainly alternative ways to cut two - three percent in spending out of nearly $4 trillion in annual federal expenditures, particularly at a time when federal spending has doubled in the last decade and America is more than $16 trillion dollars in debt. The House has put forward our solutions to replace the arbitrary sequester cuts with responsible, targeted reductions and reforms that would not undermine public safety or national security.

“While the sequester is certainly problematic, a failure to cut any spending at all by delaying or eliminating these cuts would be far worse for the fiscal stability of our nation. America is fast approaching a debt crisis, unless action is taken to reverse course. Ultimately, in order to revive our struggling economy, expand opportunity and prosperity, and ensure America maintains its leading role in the world, it is imperative that Washington stops spending money we do not have by cutting wasteful spending, ridding out fraud and abuse and reforming our broken entitlement programs.”

Click here to read Rep. Black’s letter to U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.