While Congress took action to delay the automatic spending cuts imposed by sequestration until March 1st, we have less than a month to come to an agreement on a long-term, comprehensive solution to avert the sequester and put our nation on a fiscally sustainable path. I have been urging my colleagues in Congress to work together to replace these irrational cuts to defense and non-defense spending with a balanced plan that includes both spending cuts and revenues.
Here in Maryland, and in all communities impacted by defense spending, the sequester would have a harmful impact on economic growth. It would also force drastic cuts to education, workforce development, infrastructure, and other critical investments that strengthen our competitiveness. I strongly believe that allowing these cuts to go into effect is a dangerous and irresponsible position. Unfortunately, some Members of Congress seem willing to let sequestration happen in spite of these consequences.
I have been calling on Congress to take action immediately, yet House Republican leadership has not put a substantive measure to replace the sequester on the House Floor for a vote. I was disappointed that they spent time on a bill this week that was about political messaging and did not address sequestration. On the House Floor, I urged both parties to work together:
“What the American people want is honest legislation to address the challenges that confront us. In 23 or 24 days we're going to face a sequester. That sequester, as has been pointed out, Mr. Cantor and I agree on: it will have devastating, adverse, negative consequences for our economy, for the American people and for the confidence of America. But we are not spending time to avoid the sequester… What we ought to be working on this week is a bipartisan solution to the sequester that averts the negative cuts, the adverse consequences that will take place as I said 23 to 24 days from now.”
I will continue to strongly advocate for both parties to work together on a big and balanced deficit reduction plan to turn off these automatic spending cuts, and I will remain in close contact with state and local officials, the local defense community, and others so that we can protect local jobs and investments our community relies on.
As always, thank you for allowing me to share this update with you, and please continue to share your concerns and insights with me by contacting my office or connecting with me on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.