Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today about the need to find a solution to avert the sequester. Below are his remarks and a link to the video:
“Mr. Speaker, we are now two days away from failure-triggered, ideological-driven and irrational budget cuts called ‘sequester.’ It's an extraordinarily bad policy that 229 Republicans voted for on July 19, 2011 [in their Cut, Cap, and Balance bill]. These cuts could be incredibly harmful to our national defense, our economy, and our national welfare.
“General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: ‘This will affect the entire country, and it will undermine our readiness for the next several years.’
“Hundreds of thousands of civilian defense personnel could be furloughed, thousands of contractors could be forced to lay off critical personnel. Congress should not put our national security or economic recovery at risk. If I were the Majority Leader this policy would not happen.
“House Republicans should listen to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood when he said: ‘As a former Republican Member Of Congress for 14 years, I urge my former colleagues to address this issue and to work on a long-term, balanced solution to our deficit problem.’
“With only two days left, it's time for us to come together to find a solution that can replace these cuts with a sensible, balanced alternative.”