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Public Statements

The Sequestration Myth

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. COLLINS of New York. I want to thank the gentleman from Georgia for that kind introduction.

I would put two words forward: when I came to my period of time as county executive in Erie County, the largest upstate county in the State of New York, and it's ``common sense.'' Common sense is something that I think frustrates the American public; it's something that we don't see in U.S. Government.

I'd like to point to the sequester as a prime example of what's wrong with Washington. We have a broken government, and we all know it. As someone who ran for Congress to focus on improving our economy, Washington can be a very frustrating place.

We are now only 2 days away from sequestration taking effect. In typical Washington fashion, we're now staring a deadline in the face with no answers for hardworking taxpayers.

The timing of this whole process should not be taking anyone by surprise, certainly not the President. President Obama is the one who proposed this sequester, and that is a fact. The President insisted that these arbitrary across-the-board spending cuts become law as part of the debt negotiations in 2011. Now, 2 days away from these cuts taking place, I'm very disappointed the President is not working with us to find a solution.

Instead, he is deliberately scaring the American people and attempting to convince them that the only way to avoid the pain is to raise taxes again. The President is threatening an apocalypse if he doesn't get his second tax hike in just 8 weeks. The hardworking families of New York's 27th District can't afford it.

And I believe the American public are seeing this sideshow for what it is: a blatant attempt to raise taxes again on American families and small businesses instead of addressing our spending addiction. Because if the President and the Senate didn't want to raise taxes again, they would have a plan. And they don't.

The House has twice passed a bill to replace the across-the-board sequester with responsible spending reductions and reforms. The House first passed this legislation 10 months ago to replace the President's sequester with smarter, more responsible, and commonsense spending cuts. The Senate and the President never addressed those bills; and they don't have a plan of their own, except raise taxes.

The good people of western New York and the Finger Lakes region know there are smarter, more bipartisan ways to cut government spending. They know that this country must reduce its spending and pay off its debt. They know that failing to do so will only mean a continued sluggish economy--and even worse, leaving our children and grandchildren with nothing but a bag of IOUs. And they know that before Washington politicians have the audacity to talk about raising taxes again and cutting our military, there are millions of dollars in waste in the Federal Government around every corner. And they are waiting--not so patiently anymore--for us to cut that waste before we tell them to hand over even more of their paycheck to the bureaucrats in the Federal Government.

Here is a question: Why is the EPA doling out grants to foreign countries, including China, at the expense of $100 million over the last decade? Why does the IRS need to run a TV studio that costs $4 million a year? And why are we paying senior citizens to play video games so we can study the impact on their brains?

Now, I understand these three examples don't equal $85 billion of sequester cuts, but these are just three examples of the waste. This is crazy.

Washington must do better because the American people deserve better. They deserve a Federal Government focused on balancing its budget, reducing it's spending, paying off its debt, honoring its commitments to seniors, and making sure our younger generations can actually live the American Dream.

Mr. President, let's stop the scare tactics and let's get to work.

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