Hoyer: Time for Republicans to Avert Reckless Sequestration

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Transcript: 

“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We have now entered the final week before the dangerous, arbitrary, and irrational policy of sequestration, which Republicans proposed first in their Cut, Cap and Balance bill in July of 2011. If I were the Majority Leader, Mr. Speaker, that policy would not go into effect.

“Budget discipline is absolutely necessary, but damaging job growth and our economy to do so is self-defeating. The only responsible way forward is for Republicans and Democrats to work together to achieve a balanced solution to deficits that can turn off sequestration.

“House and Senate Democrats have each proposed balanced alternatives that combine smart, targeted cuts in spending and tax expenditures. I would hope the Majority Leader, Mr. Cantor, would bring that to the Floor.

“While many Republicans have been praising the sequester as a viable path forward, Democrats recognize this mindless policy for the danger it is. I urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, Mr. Speaker, to recognize the sequester's consequences and to work with Democrats to find an alternative, or if that can't be done, to abandon this reckless policy.

“We only have four days left to go, and our country’s overall well-being depends on it.

“Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to call up H.R. 699, which is the balanced Democratic alternative to sequestration, which I know we have ample time to debate over the next few days and, hopefully, send to the Senate.

[The Speaker Pro Tempore: The Chair cannot entertain that request without appropriate consent from both sides.]