Now that both chambers of Congress have failed to avoid the so-called "sequester", Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) today said that the cuts to essential services, job losses, and other impacts underscore the need for a balanced approach to reduce the deficit. Rep. Markey has recently released reports on the impacts of the sequester on his home state of Massachusetts and on the energy sector, and proposed his own approach to avoid the sequester.
Below is the statement of Rep. Markey, the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee, who voted against the original Budget Control Act of 2011 that included the sequester:
"First came the sequester vote, then the wait, then the debate, and now the inaction. This is unacceptable. The oncoming "sequester syndrome' will hurt America's middle class and working poor the most, with cuts in services and jobs, but it also will surely spread to all our communities and through our entire economy. The remedy is leadership in Washington that prescribes a balanced approach that ends corporate tax loopholes, oil company subsidies, and spending on outdated nuclear weapons programs while preserving the social safety net for America's neediest families, seniors, and kids.
"I voted against these cuts because I did not think it was a responsible course for our country. I have proposed a deficit reduction plan that is pro-middle class, pro-growth, and pro-jobs.
"As Americans start to feel the real effects of these arbitrary cuts, my hope is that the Tea Party Republicans that rejected compromise will come back to the negotiating table and work towards a balanced approach to our fiscal challenges."