Following is a statement from U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-3) on the automatic $85 billion reduction in spending known as the sequester:
"The president and Senate have had months to avoid across-the-board cuts and while I do not believe that sequestration is the best way to handle budgetary issues, it is the only choice left to us by a liberal Senate majority and a president who have both refused to negotiate real spending cuts in good faith and instead have engaged in dog-and-pony media shows and fear mongering. The House has twice passed bills with smarter, targeted cuts and reforms that replace the sequester with cuts of an equal or greater amount. However, the liberal Senate majority flat-out refused to bring either solution up for a vote because some lawmakers, along with the president, would prefer to rely on job-killing tax increases to avoid cutting spending. What they fail to grasp is that we cannot solve our nation's spending problem by raising taxes; if we cannot find $85 billion in savings within a $3.6 trillion budget, we will never get our country's spending problem under control. At some point, federal spending must be cut and now is the time for the president to step up and lead instead of trying to divide the nation with inflammatory political rhetoric."