Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (HI-02) released the following statement on the legislation passed by the House today relating to the federal budget: H.Res.117, the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013 and H.R. 6365, the National Security and Job Protection Act:
"Every time we take a half a step forward, Republicans push us two steps back. Today, in a spirit of cooperation, we passed a bill to keep the lights on and the government running for the next six months. This is necessary and will provide some measure of certainty to our economy and federal agencies. This agreement provides some hope that we will be able to find common ground on a balanced approach to addressing critical issues like the expiration of tax laws and across-the-board-cuts that are set to occur at the end of the year.
"Despite this progress, the Republicans also had us take two steps back today by passing H.R. 6365. This not a serious proposal to avoid across-the-board cuts, or sequestration, beginning in 2013. Instead, it's a temper tantrum on paper and a retread of a bill the Senate won't take up and President Obama won't sign.
"What the people of Hawaii want is an honest discussion about our budget that prioritizes creating jobs, cutting our deficit, making sure we have a strong national defense, and protecting middle class families. These priorities require a balanced agreement that avoids across-the-board cuts. We can get there by cutting waste, ending tax breaks for oil companies, making the wealthiest two percent pay their fair share, and getting our economy moving. That's the way to move our country forward."