U.S. Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC), recovering at his Greensboro home following a recent hospital stay, issued the following statement as budget sequestration went into effect today:
"We have reached the point of sequestration today because of years of reckless and irresponsible spending by the federal government. We have been kicking this budget can down the road for so long that we have run out of road.
"President Obama authored the idea of sequestration and both parties went along with it. Sequester is everyone's least favorite option to reduce federal spending, but because of President Obama's reluctance to embrace any substantial reforms, it seems that it is our only option. Also, I am disappointed that the president seems be attempting to promote a crisis by unnecessarily scaring the American public into thinking that sequestration will bring gloom and doom.
"We have passed two bills in the House to replace President Obama's sequester. According to the Congressional Budget Office, one bill would have reduced our deficit by $328 billion over 10 years while the other would have reduced our deficit by almost $218 billion over the same period.
"For many years I have supported efforts to reduce our federal budget and have been a perennial sponsor of a Balanced Budget Amendment. If sequester does not take effect, I am afraid that President Obama will use the bully pulpit and friends in the Senate to concoct another economic plan with more borrowing and spending, without reforms. This is particularly disturbing considering his historic tax increases.
"It is my hope that when Congress addresses the upcoming Continuing Resolution, we do so in an expeditious manner and address many of the rigid shortcomings created by the sequester. I think federal departments and agencies should have the flexibility to fund necessary projects and eliminate unnecessary ones.
"The bottom line is that we have a national debt approaching $17 trillion and spending reductions through sequestration are coming. While they may be difficult for many, sequestration is a necessary evil to limit the size and scope of our government. I hope this unpleasant step will force the Senate and the White House to finally get serious about getting our fiscal house in order."