Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-7) issued the following statement following passage of H.R. 5652, the "Sequestration Replacement Reconciliation Act," which modifies last year's Budget Control Act to cancel the sequestration of discretionary spending currently scheduled to occur in January 2013 in order to prevent devastating cuts to defense:
"Reducing our more than $16 trillion national debt should be a top priority for every member of Congress. Past levels of unchecked federal spending are no longer sustainable nor acceptable. This is why the House Energy and Commerce Committee has worked with six other committees in the U.S. House to put forth a measure to eliminate wasteful spending and reduce the scope of government in a responsible manner while not threatening our national security."
The Sequestration Replacement Reconciliation Act would replace the scheduled 10 percent across-the-board cut in defense spending with sensible spending reductions and reforms that would save about $315 billion over 10 years.
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta called the pending military cuts scheduled for Jan. 1, 2013, "devastating" and predicted they would yield "the smallest ground force since 1940" and the smallest naval fleet since 1915.
The reductions and reforms in H.R. 5652 include:
Shutting down the Dodd-Frank bank bailout slush fund;
Eliminating fraud and abuse in the taxpayer-funded benefit programs;
Reducing and repealing elements of the 2010 health care law;
Capping medical malpractice lawsuits; and
Requiring all current and future federal workers to pay an additional 5 percentage points of their salary toward their federal pensions.
"Today's action by the U.S. House protects our Nation's defense and fulfills our commitment to reducing spending and moving the federal government's budget in a more fiscally responsible direction," Lance concluded.