Representative Lee Terry (R-NE) today made the following statement in response to the Pentagon's announcement that 800,000 civilian personnel will be furloughed as part of sequestration:
"Two years ago when the President proposed sequestration as part of a grand bargain; I supported it in good faith. My assumption was this President was willing to work with Congress to reform out-of-control Washington spending and reduce our national debt. Unfortunately, the emphasis from the President has been on raising taxes rather than cutting spending.
"Therefore, I've joined my colleague's, twice voting to end the sequester and put in place common sense reforms that will reduce our deficit and prevent these devastating cuts.
"Today's announcement by the Pentagon is disappointing. It makes no sense for us to go through with the sequester when the Federal government by its own estimates has made over $115 billion in improper entitlement payments; is spending billions each year maintaining vacant government buildings; and, paying $1.2 million for seniors to play video games in the name of "research'.
"Everyone knows we can't continue to kick the can down the road. And these civilian personnel, some of whom are my constituents and work at Offut AFB, shouldn't be used as political footballs.
"When I held my first hearing last week as Chairman of the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade subcommittee, I did so in cooperation with my colleagues across the aisle. The result was a bipartisan tone that I hope will continue through this Congress.
"There is time still left. The President can set a bipartisan tone and I urge him to come to the table rather than putting this crucial part of our national security on the menu."