U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), the senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, issued the following statement today after the Office of Management and Budget released the Sequestration Transparency Act Report. The report highlights the urgent need to focus on a balanced approach to deficit reduction and prevent across-the-board cuts scheduled to take effect on January 2.
"Today's report underscores what everyone's known for months but only some are willing to accept: Congress should avert going over the fiscal cliff by adopting a balanced approach to deficit reduction. It's not easy, but it is that simple. A combination of new revenues, closing certain egregious loopholes, and specific spending cuts is the only way we can avert the cliff. No more 'my way or the highway', partisan obstructionism. That's caused too much economic chaos already, and the economy is too fragile to undergo more such recklessness. A balanced approach is the only answer to this problem."
If Congress does not chart a different fiscal path, federal programs will see across-the-board cuts of approximately 8 percent starting January 2013. These cuts will not only affect defense spending, if enacted, a wide range of domestic programs -- from Head Start to special education and worker retraining -- will see drastic cuts in their budgets starting next year. In July, Miller sent a letter to Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) requesting that the committee schedule a hearing to examine the impact of sequestration on programs within the committee's jurisdiction, on the individuals and families served by those programs and on the economy. No formal response to Miller's request has occurred to date.