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Public Statements

Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. BONAMICI. Thank you, Congressman Van Hollen, for yielding.

I rise in support of the Sequestration Transparency Act.

We have all heard concerns back home about partisan gridlock in our Nation's Capitol. Our constituents continue to ask us: Is there any way to overcome this gridlock to solve the problems facing our country? They ask if it is getting better, if Congress can actually do something. Can we get things done?

With the end of the year approaching and with our country's inching ever closer to the so-called ``fiscal cliff,'' the questions from our constituents take on a new urgency. They want to know what is going to happen if the budget sequestration is allowed to go into effect, and they want to know if Congress can function well enough to avoid the doomsday scenarios that many economists are predicting if sequestration does occur. Up until now, we have not been able to offer them much in the way of positive news, and we've had to tell our constituents that we're not quite sure what sequestration will mean for our communities.

Now, this bill doesn't solve the problems our constituents will face if sequestration actually goes into effect--the lost jobs or the damage to our still struggling economy--but it does give us valuable information about what might happen. It will allow us, the body that brought us here in the first place with the passage of the Budget Control Act, to at least better understand the consequences of our actions. Importantly, it signals a bipartisan action on the part of Congress to ask: How bad will this be?

If there is a silver lining to be found, it is that we have come together on what could have been a contentious piece of legislation, and I thank the Budget Committee chairman and ranking member for their leadership.

Now, the fact that we have to pass a bill to get information on legislation that we have already passed does not speak highly of the process. The sequester was supposed to motivate us to work together and pass a budget that lowers costs while maintaining critical services. It's unfortunate that we have to pass yet another bill to move us closer to accomplishing what should have been done months ago.

But for the sake of better representing our constituents, let's focus on the positive: Let's support a bill that gives us the information we as legislators need in order to make an educated decision.

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Ms. BONAMICI. I hope today's bipartisan action is an indicator of a renewed commitment to tackling the sequester, and I hope it sends a message to our constituents that we can work together to get something done. That's why I supported this bill in the Budget Committee, and that's why I am asking my colleagues to join me in voting ``yes'' on the Sequestration Transparency Act.

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