This week, Congresswoman Buerkle voted in favor of legislation to increase transparency during the process of sequestration, which would cut almost 10% of America's defense budget over the next ten years. Representative Buerkle released the following statement regarding passage of the Sequestration Transparency Act, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support by a vote of 414-2.
"I am pleased that the House voted almost unanimously to ensure that the sequestration process will be as transparent as possible. Sequestration will have a monumental effect on our nation and it is essential that this process is not done behind closed doors.
"I have opposed sequestration from the beginning and I continue to urge our government to prevent these catastrophic cuts. While there is undoubtedly waste, fraud, and abuse that must be cut from the Department of Defense budget, these cuts should be made with a scalpel, not a hatchet.
"Cuts of this magnitude, on top of the ones already forced on our military, will be devastating to our forces and would result in a skeleton defense incapable of effectively meeting the challenges America faces. Beyond the effect these cuts will have on our defenses, sequestration will spell economic disaster.
"My Congressional district is the home to a vibrant business community which works closely with the Department of Defense in the mission to keep our nation secure. New York's 25th Congressional District received over $600 million in the form of 2,182 contracts from the Department of Defense in 2011. The defense industry employs 5,000 people and provides some of the area's highest quality jobs.
"If sequestration goes into effect, these cuts will destroy economic opportunity and result in crippling job losses in the numerous defense-related industries in upstate New York. You cannot ignore the potential losses of millions of dollars in business and hundreds of jobs for my district.
"I am hopeful that creating more transparency from the Obama Administration in the sequestration process will serve to bring to light exactly how devastating these cuts will be for our national defense and our economy."
H.R. 5872, the Sequestration Transparency Act, would require the President to submit to Congress a detailed preview of the sequestration required by the Budget Control Act of 2011 and how the required spending cuts are to be implemented. Congresswoman Buerkle opposed sequestration, voting against the Budget Control Act. In addition, she previously voted in favor of H.R. 4966, the Sequester Replacement Act of 2012, which would prevent these cuts.
In addition, this week the House approved H.R. 5856, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2013 by a vote of 326-90. The bill caps core defense spending at 2012 levels.