I supported House passage of two bills that replaced sequestration with reforms that resulted in smarter cuts in other areas of the budget. Unfortunately the Senate did not take up those bills, the President has not shown leadership on this issue and now sequestration will go into effect on Friday, March 1.
While I believe that the level of spending cuts mandated in sequestration are an important step in putting our government back on a path of fiscal solvency, the across-the-board method is the wrong approach, especially as it pertains to our national security. The savings should be realized through reforms in programs that are the real drivers of our national debt and through tax reform, but the President must come to the table willing to negotiate on those items -- so far he hasn't. It is important to note that reforms to entitlement programs would not impact current retirees or near-retirees but preserve those programs for future generations and put them on stable financial footing. Tax reform is a necessary component and the Chairman of Ways and Means has stated that his Committee will introduce a tax overhaul bill before the end of the year. The current tax code is too complex and confusing for the majority of Americans and I support a flatter, simpler and more efficient system without additional taxes hikes on American families.
The American people should know that our government will continue to function and most Americans will not be negatively impacted by the onset of sequestration in the near-term. Unfortunately, in effort to raise even more taxes, the President has resorted to scare-tactics to frighten the American people; the fact is that federal government spending has increased 25% under President Obama and our Departments and Agencies can absorb the reductions mandated under the Budget Control Act if done intelligently as we have done in the House.