U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made this statement on the letter sent by Republican leaders in the House and Senate to President Obama. The Republicans encouraged President Obama to work with them to prevent devastating sequestration cuts which are scheduled to go into effect in 2013.
"I am very supportive of and encouraged by Republican leaders in the House and Senate urging President Obama to deal with sequestration before the end of the fiscal year. I strongly encourage President Obama to meet this challenge.
"We have already committed to reducing defense spending by nearly $500 billion over ten years. The additional military spending cuts called for under sequestration would add another $600 billion on top of that figure. The net effect of this $1.1 trillion defense cut, in the words of Secretary of Defense Panetta, would destroy the finest military we've ever had.
"I will continue to work my colleagues to find a bipartisan solution to avoid the effects of sequestration for the upcoming fiscal year. We're working to find the necessary $109 billion to replace sequestration for defense and non-defense spending.
"I believe the best way forward is to follow the Simpson-Bowles roadmap where some of the $109 billion would be offset by increased fees and eliminating tax earmarks that only benefit the few at the expense of the many. However, the vast majority of the reductions would come from reducing the size of government. Tax rate increases are not necessary to solve this problem and will do damage to our economy.
"It remains imperative we find a bipartisan solution to this problem before the end of the fiscal year."