Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after President Obama's remarks calling on Congress to immediately avert the sequester:
“President Obama is right when he warns of the serious consequences to our economy and national security if Congress fails to compromise and prevent the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration. Sequestration is an arbitrary, irrational policy that was intended to bring both sides to the table. Unfortunately, House Republicans have refused to bring an alternative to sequestration to the Floor for a vote.
“Unless this posture changes, in ten days’ time sequestration will lead to longer lines at airports as the number of security screeners is cut back, communities will be made less safe as FBI, DEA, and border security agents are furloughed, and local first responders will lose much-needed personnel as hiring grants disappear.
"As President Obama said today, a balanced approach to replacing sequestration is already on the table, and Democrats are ready to compromise in order to protect our economy and national security. It is shameful that the Republican leadership in the House has answered the challenge of sequestration by doing nothing and going on vacation this week. Democrats have called on Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor to return the House to session right away and come back to the negotiating table so we can forge a balanced agreement to replace the sequester or delay its implementation as negotiations for a larger agreement continue. There is no time to waste.”