Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on Republican efforts to delay sequestration:
“Any attempt to delay sequestration would be short-sighted and imprudent. It is an approach that does not appreciate the size and scope of our problem. The sequester was created as a deterrent to inaction on deficit reduction because no one wants to see these indiscriminate spending cuts take place – but that does not give us an excuse to kick the can down the road and avoid our responsibilities.
“We’re facing this troublesome sequester because Republicans on the Joint Select Committee would not agree to include revenues as part of a deficit reduction deal. Instead, they chose to put tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires ahead of our national security and our ability to help those struggling to get by and out of work. If they had been willing to ask all Americans to share in the sacrifice of deficit reduction, we would not be facing this difficult and looming sequester.
“The way to prevent such cuts from happening is by reaching a big, balanced deficit reduction solution – not by avoiding the hard decisions necessary. Attempting to put off the sequester without addressing our larger fiscal problems would be a serious failure by Congress, one that undermines our economy and national security, and would further neglect our responsibility to act on our fiscal challenges. The President understands this and has made clear he would veto such a move.
“Equally troubling, this bill would pay for such a delay by forcing America’s public servants to sacrifice once again. Our federal employees, who serve their neighbors in communities across the country, have already accepted a two-year pay freeze that contributed $60 billion to deficit reduction. It is simply unfair to ask one group of middle class Americans to sacrifice without asking others to do so, including the wealthiest. It also makes no sense, especially during these challenging times, to undercut our ability to recruit and retain the best possible federal workforce, especially for critical jobs relating to national security, criminal justice, and public health.”