Congressman Scott Rigell made the following comments on President Obama's sequestration speech at the White House today:
"The House of Representatives has passed with my support the Sequestration Replacement and Reconciliation Act and the Spending Reduction Act, both of which would stop sequestration. They were promptly sent to the Senate for consideration. Sadly, both bills have not been taken to the Senate floor, nor has the Senate initiated an alternative itself to sequestration. While the President in today's press conference accurately described the impact sequestration will have on our nation if enacted, he failed to mention those two legislative solutions that passed the House.
During the campaign the President made this definitive statement: "Sequestration will not happen.' The reality however is that until now he has been largely silent on an issue that directly impacts national security, and our national and local economies. Although his involvement comes at the 11th hour, it is welcomed and desperately needed.
The Senate's failure to act is the principal reason that we are in this predicament; however, attributing responsibility does not stop the sequester or protect local jobs. What is required, and what I focus on daily, is advancing a wise legislative alternative to sequestration. I again call on the leadership of Congress, Republican and Democrat, House and Senate, along with the President to advance an agreement that would spare the nation from these unwise cuts. The House and the Senate should come back into session immediately so that we can focus exclusively on this urgent issue.
America cannot afford more dysfunction from Washington. We must put our country first by finding and advancing common ground. We owe this to those who have paid such a heavy price for our freedom, our men and women in uniform, past and present. And we owe it as our duty to the next generation of Americans."