President Obama's sequestration report, which was released on Friday afternoon, illustrates the biggest challenge we face to getting our fiscal house in order: the lack of leadership coming from Washington. I voted against the legislation that implemented sequestration because this is not the proper method to restore our nation's economy and preserve the American Dream for generations to come. The best way to get our spending under control is to pass a balanced budget and stick to it -- like Kansas families and business do. This is one of the basic responsibilities of Congress, yet the Senate has not passed a budget for more than three years.
In its report, the Administration tries to place the blame solely on Congress by touting President Obama's 2012 budget proposal repeatedly -- the same budget that was so misguided, it failed to garner a single vote in the Senate. But Americans know there is enough blame to go around. They understand that we live in a time of tight budgets and they are ready for Washington to make the same tough decisions Americans make every day. Yet Washington continues to ignore our fiscal reality, and sequestration takes this to new heights. Spending must be reduced through debate and votes on annual appropriation bills -- how Congress is supposed to work. Sequestration's arbitrary across-the-board cuts shirk Congress' vital responsibility and degrade the domestic and defense programs that protect our livelihood.
The recent events in Egypt and Libya, which are now spreading throughout the Middle East, demonstrate the continued need for a strong national defense. While now is not the time to look for the so-called "peace dividend,' there are savings and efficiencies that can be found within the Department of Defense. But across-the-board cuts are not the solution.
Sequestration is an irresponsible way of governing and demonstrates that we must restore the leadership and common sense needed to restore fiscal responsibility. We were not elected to ignore these problems, but rather to confront them. I am committed to working with my colleagues in Congress and the President to do the job we were elected to do: pass a responsible budget and stick to it.