Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-1) today voted in favor of legislation to prevent looming defense cuts, known as sequestration, set to take effect in January, and took a stand against a short-term spending measure that delays important decisions.
Today, the House passed a "stop-gap" measure (H.J.Res. 117), a continuing resolution, to fund the government for six months into FY 2013, which begins on October 1, 2012. Wittman opposed the legislation, making the following statement:
"It is simply unconscionable for Congress to pass a bill that ignores the looming cuts coming in January," Wittman said. "This is yet another case of Washington, D.C., kicking the can down the road without making the tough decisions. With two and a half weeks to go before the new fiscal year begins, Congress should remain in Washington, and have a serious discussion on solutions to fund our government responsibly, and address the looming threat of defense cuts. These cuts threaten our national security while costing an estimated 200,000 jobs in Virginia. This is too important to ignore, and a time to put governing over politics."
"In addition, I have concerns with this bill's lack of funding for our carrier refueling program that is critical to national security. Adequate funding for our carriers is essential to our military's readiness and ability to respond in a crisis and execute our maritime strategy."
Wittman again supported a bill today to avert the massive defense cuts. With Wittman's support, the House today approved H.R. 6365, the National Security and Job Protection Act, which would repeal the defense and non-defense cuts, contingent upon the enactment of legislation to offset the cuts with equal or greater reductions in spending elsewhere in the federal budget. This bill would also require the President to submit a plan to Congress to replace the cuts from sequestration with alternative spending reductions.
"Virginia's First District is full of individuals who have devoted their lives to serving this nation, and these patriotic individuals deserve the full support and backing of their country. These defense cuts would be absolutely disastrous for the force structure and capabilities of our military, and it would be an absolute failure of leadership not to prevent this hollowing out of our defense resources.
"I was proud to support legislation today to provide a mechanism for the repeal of the sequester. Since the Super Committee failure to find a responsible resolution instead of sequestration late last year, I have been calling for a solution to prevent these disastrous cuts. It is critical that we replace these cuts with responsible reforms elsewhere in the budget that reduce waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal government. I was proud to support a bill in May to establish these reforms and to prevent sequestration. Today's legislation provides a mechanism for those reforms to be enacted. I urge the Senate and White House to come to the table so that we can seriously and responsibly prevent this looming strike to our national security capabilities."
In May 2012, Wittman also supported two House-approved bills (H.R. 4966 and H.R. 5652) to avoid sequestration and to the cuts in FY2012 with incremental reforms to mandatory spending programs.
Congressman Rob Wittman represents the First District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee where he is the Chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.