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Public Statements

Letter to Mr. Speaker and Chairs of the Committees

Ranking Democratic Committee Members today called on Speaker Boehner and GOP Committee Chairs to begin bipartisan negotiations immediately to replace sequestration with a balanced deficit reduction plan in order to avoid economic uncertainty and devastating consequences to our economy, small businesses, and the middle class.

As the Ranking Members wrote in their letter, "We all agree that a sequester starting in January, 2013 is not in the country's best interest and is not the best way to assure responsible deficit reduction. The American people want us to work together to avoid unnecessary economic uncertainty at this crucial time in our recovery."

Further, the letter states, "We strongly recommend that this bipartisan process begin before the August recess so that the American people can be reassured before September 30 that the sequester will not take effect."

Below is the full text of the letter:

July 25, 2012

Dear Mr. Speaker and Chairs of the Committees,

As the senior Democratic Members of the Committees of the House, we call upon the Republican Leadership and the Chairs of our respective committees to begin immediate negotiations with Democrats on replacing the scheduled 2013 sequester with a balanced deficit reduction plan. We all agree that a sequester starting in January, 2013 is not in the country's best interest and is not the best way to assure responsible deficit reduction. The American people want us to work together to avoid unnecessary economic uncertainty at this crucial time in our recovery. Failure to reach an agreement would have devastating consequences for our economy, small business and the middle class.

The looming possibility of a January, 2013 sequester is already creating uncertainty in our economy. Working together and in good faith, Democrats and Republicans can negotiate an alternative to the defense and non-defense discretionary sequester as well as the mandatory sequester for fiscal year 2013. We are confident that we can identify revenue sources and prioritize investments in a bipartisan fashion to avoid the sequester while achieving our deficit reduction goals.

We look forward to hearing from you and sitting down to negotiate an alternative to the sequester. We strongly recommend that this bipartisan process begin before the August recess so that the American people can be reassured before September 30 that the sequester will not take effect.

best regards,

Collin C. Peterson
Ranking Member
House Committee on Agriculture

Norman D. Dicks
Ranking Member
House Committee on Appropriations

Adam Smith
Ranking Member
House Armed Services Committee

Chris Van Hollen
Ranking Member
House Committee on Budget

George Miller
Ranking Member
House Committee on Education & the Workforce

Henry Waxman
Ranking Member
House Energy & Commerce Committee

Linda Sanchez
Ranking Member
House Committee on Ethics

Barney Frank
Ranking Member
House Committee on Financial Services

Howard Berman
Ranking Member
House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Bennie G. Thompson
Ranking Member
House Committee on Homeland Security

Robert A. Brady
Ranking Member
House Committee on Administration

John Conyers
Ranking Member
House Committee on the Judiciary

Edward Markey
Ranking Member
House Committee on Natural Resources

Elijah Cummings
Ranking Member
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

Louise Slaughter
Ranking Member
House Committee on Rules

Eddie Bernice Johnson
Ranking Member
House Committee on Science, Space, & Technology

Nydia M. Velazquez
Ranking Member
House Committee on Small Business

Nick Rahall
Ranking Member
House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure

Bob Filner
Ranking Member
House Committee on Veterans' Affairs

Sander Levin
Ranking Member
House Committee on Ways and Means


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