Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) today released the following statement on the failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to reach a bipartisan agreement:
"I am extremely disheartened that members of the deficit reduction committee could not reach a compromise. Avoiding responsibility and kicking the can down the road is how the federal government got into such tremendous debt in the first place. It will take political courage to make the difficult decisions that will enable our country to live within its means just as American families do everyday.
The committee's failure will trigger automatic, across-the-board cuts, including $1 trillion the Department of Defense over the next decade. I am worried about the disproportionate impact sequestration will have on our national security and our local economy, which relies heavily on federal defense spending. In addition to jeopardizing military readiness, the jobs of many civilian personnel and contractors in Maryland are at stake. These automatic cuts could also have catastrophic impacts on critical funding for programs that help seniors, veterans and American families.
I was one of 145 lawmakers that joined together in a large bipartisan coalition calling for much deeper cuts than the $1.2 trillion mandated by the legislation creating the joint committee. We stood together last week, urging joint committee members to consider all options, knowing they have strong support from both sides of the political aisle. I am confident that we remain united in our desire to come together on a meaningful deficit reduction and job creation plan despite the failure of the joint committee. We must invest in infrastructure, get out of the way of our job creators and prepare our workforce for careers of the future."