Hypocrisy in Action: Republicans Support Sequester Despite Promises Made, Impact on their Constituents

For Immediate Release:

February 27, 2013

With less than 48 hours until devastating across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester take effect, many Republicans are still expressing their unwavering support for these cuts instead of working with Democrats to avert them. However, a closer look reveals that support for the sequester contradicts promises made to their constituents in their legislative priorities, and could have an impact on their districts. Here’s a look at how the sequester could affect the districts of the very Republicans cheering for it to happen:

Rep. Michael Burgess (TX-26)

Supports the Sequester: “I accept the blame, but give me the credit for finally having had the strength to provide some savings for the American people because everyone gets it.” [POLITICO, 2/26]

Website Claims: “… I will continue to work to ensure that the United States continues to have the safest food supply in the world.” [Burgess.house.gov]

Impact of the Sequester: “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could conduct 2,100 fewer inspections at domestic and foreign facilities that manufacture food products while USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) may have to furlough all employees for approximately two weeks. These reductions could increase the number and severity of safety incidents, and the public could suffer more foodborne illness.” [White House Fact Sheet]

District Impact: Home of FEMA Region VI Headquarters.

Under the sequester, “FEMA would need to reduce funding for State and local grants that support firefighter positions and State and local emergency management personnel, hampering our ability to respond to natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy and other emergencies.” [White House Fact Sheet]

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (KS-1)

Supports the Sequester: “[Sequestration] will be the first significant tea party victory in that we got what we set out to do in changing Washington.” [Washington Post, 2/25]

Website Claims: “Our men and women serving in combat deserve to have all of the resources they need in order to complete missions abroad.  Upon their return, it is our obligation to ensure that they have the resources they need in order to return to stateside and civilian life, including access to educational and health services.” [Huelskamp.house.gov]

Impact of the Sequester: “Although the Department of Veterans Affairs is exempt from sequestration, the Department of Labor’s Veterans Transition Assistance Program, which serves over 150,000 veterans a year, would have to reduce operations – leaving thousands of transitioning veterans unserved as they move from active duty to civilian life.” [White House Fact Sheet]

Rep. Renee Ellmers (NC-2)

Supports the Sequester: “I do believe it will start a very important process that will help our economy to start to grow.” [Washington Post, 2/25]

Website Claims: “Congresswoman Ellmers knows that America is home to the finest universities in the world, but our elementary and secondary schools are in need of improvement.”

Impact of the Sequester: “North Carolina will lose approximately $25.4 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 350 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 38,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 80 fewer schools would receive funding.” [White House Fact Sheet]

Rep. Mike Pompeo (KS-4) 

Supports the Sequester: “The sequester is here, it’s time, we’ve got to get these spending reductions in place… It’s going to be a home run. We’re doing what the American people asked the United States House of Representatives to do in 2010 when I came here.” [POLITICO, 2/13]

Website Claims: “It’s time Congress executes in [sic] constitutional duty to stop illegal  immigration by successfully protecting our national sovereignty and every point of entry and securing our borders immediately.” [Pompeo for Congress]

Impact of the Sequester: “U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) would not be able to maintain current staffing levels of border patrol agents and CBP officers as mandated by Congress. CBP would have to reduce its work hours by the equivalent of over 5,000 border patrol agents and the equivalent of over 2,750 CBP officers.” [White House Fact Sheet]

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (SC-5)

Supports the Sequester: “We want to keep the sequester in place and take the cuts we can get.” [Dow Jones Business News, 2/8]

Website Claims: “The primary function of the federal government is to provide for national defense. Congress must ensure that our armed forces have the proper training, equipment and funding to protect us from enemies both at home and abroad.” [mulvaney.house.gov]

Impact of Sequester: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey says: “This will affect the entire country and it will undermine our readiness for the next several years.” [NBC’s “Meet the Press,” 2/3]

District Impact: As the home of Shaw Air Force Base and the new home for Third Army, Mulvaney claims the Army is “an economic driver for the District, and I will continue to support Shaw Air Force Base in any way I can.” [Mulvaney.house.gov] However, under the sequester, the Army in South Carolina could see base operation funding cut by about $62 million and Air Force operations cut by about $19 million. [White House Fact Sheet]

Rep. Tom Cole (OK-4) 

Supports the Sequester: “We would rather see those cuts happen … I can assure you that there will not be a political blink on this. These cuts will occur.” [U.S. News and World Report, 2/6]

Website Claims: “Under existing law, defense will take a 9 percent across-the-board cut each year for ten years.  It is imperative that action be taken and decisions be made in order to offset the defense and other cuts due this year with reductions elsewhere in the budget.” [Cole.house.gov]

Impact of Sequester: Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta says: “Frankly one of the greatest security risks we are now facing as a nation, that this budget uncertainty could prompt the most significant military-readiness crisis in more than a decade.” [Senate Armed Services Committee, 2/7]

District Impact: “The largest employers in the district include Fort Sill Army Post, Tinker Air Force Base and the University of Oklahoma.” [Cole.house.gov] Oklahoma could see Army base operating funding cut by about $48 million and Air Force Operations in Oklahoma cut by about $20 million. [White House Fact Sheet]

It’s time for House Republicans to the negotiating table and work with House Democrats towards a balanced and bipartisan solution to prevent sequestration from occurring. With one legislative day remaining and plenty of time on the schedule, it’s not too late to avoid the irrational and reckless sequester.

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