U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) expressed her disappointment today at the Senate's failure to reach a bipartisan agreement to avert the automatic, across-the-board federal budget cuts that will begin tomorrow. Two proposals were considered in the Senate today but both did not gain the 60 votes needed for passage. The first, which failed by a vote of 38 to 62, would have kept the same level of spending cuts but would have given authority to the President to rearrange cuts. The second, which failed by a vote of 51 to 49, would have replaced the automatic spending cuts with a balanced approach of spending cuts and additional revenues. Shaheen voted against the first proposal and for the second.
"I share the public's frustration that we were unable to come together to find bipartisan agreement to avoid these indiscriminate cuts," Shaheen said. "We need to address our deficit and rein in our spending, but the blind cuts of sequestration are not the right approach. These cuts threaten our economic recovery and put our national security interests at risk. Simply put, we must be smarter about the way we address our budget."
"Now is the time for Republicans and Democrats to put aside political differences and come together for real solutions," Shaheen added. "Every few months Congress manufactures a new stand-off that gets in the way of our ability to do our jobs and address the many long term challenges that face our country. These self-inflicted wounds must stop. This is no way to run a government and we must do better."
Shaheen has been vocal in highlighting the potentially devastating impact of automatic cuts and has worked with leaders in New Hampshire and Washington to underscore the need for action. She has stayed in contact with stakeholders in the Granite State -- business leaders, local government officials, and workers at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard -- to keep them updated on the latest developments, hear their feedback, and take into account their concerns in preparation of cuts.
Earlier this month, Shaheen visited Salem-based manufacturing firm Micro-Precision Technologies to provide an example of how New Hampshire businesses would be negatively affected by the cuts. She recently joined Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) in a joint letter pressing Senate Leadership to swiftly arrive at a bipartisan, balanced deficit reduction solution and also spoke on the Senate floor with Collins in a call for action.