Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) today sent letters to President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner urging them to embrace bipartisan plans to "turn off" sequestration, which would go into effect this March if nothing is done to prevent it.
In his letter to the president, Wolf stressed that the best solution currently available is the recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles Commission, which would reduce the deficit by more than $4 trillion and prevent sequestration.
"While you walked away from this bipartisan proposal, I was one of 38 bipartisan members of Congress to vote for it last year," Wolf said.
Wolf discussed how he led by example during the 112th Congress by reducing spending within the Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations subcommittee by nearly $12 billion.
"As subcommittee chairman, I still managed to continue investing in our nation's critical counterterrorism and research and development programs," he wrote. "This is the type of thoughtful and deliberate allocation of resources we can achieve through a careful process, rather than sequestration."
Wolf also detailed what would happen to entitlement programs if sequestration were to go into effect.
"These programs are broke," he said. "Everyone is to blame, and therefore we all need to be part of the solution."
Wolf today introduced a bipartisan amendment to H.R. 444, The Require a PLAN Act, that would require the president to incorporate the Simpson-Bowles recommendations into his budget submission to Congress.
"I am disappointed that an amendment is even necessary, as I would hope you would have done this on your own initiative," he wrote. "It is also equally troubling that, for the fourth time in five years, you have again failed to meet your statutory deadline for filing your annual budget request."
Wolf's letters detailed how the effects of sequestration are already being felt by Americans. For example, the economy shrank in the fourth quarter for the first time since 2009, federal employees are facing furloughs, and small, women- and minority-owned contractors are "feeling the pinch."
"We all bear responsibility for the situation before us, and thus must consider all options, even those that are not ideal," Wolf concluded." I hope you will embrace [Simpson-Bowles] and call on Congress to adopt it."
Wolf has been a longtime supporter of the recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles Commission, which was based on his 2006 SAFE Commission Act. Last year, he was one of 38 bipartisan members to support the Cooper-LaTourette bill, which was based on Simpson-Bowles. In March, Wolf was featured in a USA Today article praising the "brave 38" for their support of the measure. In September, he was honored by the Concord Coalition for his commitment to bipartisan policies that will get the nation's fiscal house in order.