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Public Statements

CBC Hour: The Impact of Sequestration

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Madam Speaker, when the Congress adjourned last week, it did so without addressing the drastic spending cuts known as sequester. Now the March 1st deadline has passed, still with no action. Without the attention of Congress, these cuts will wreak havoc on our fragile economy and jeopardize the safety and security of families in this country. House and Senate Democrats have both offered reasonable, balanced plans to avert these damaging cuts, but the GOP has refused to work towards a bipartisan plan to reduce the deficit. We have had more than a year to reach a bipartisan agreement, and without an agreement these cuts will be balanced on the backs on our most vulnerable citizens.

I am specifically concerned about the effects of sequestration on the 30th District, and the state of Texas as a whole. Texas will lose approximately $67.8 million for primary and secondary education, putting educators at risk and compromising our children's education. In Texas alone, approximately 52,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $274.8 million in total. These are not just numbers. Madam Speaker. These are mothers and fathers trying to provide for their families.

Under sequestration, 9,730 fewer children in Texas will receive vaccines, and our state will lose approximately $3,557,000 to help provide meals for seniors. Texas will also lose approximately $2,402,000 to help respond to public health threats including infectious diseases and natural disasters.

Madam Speaker, we must confront our federal debt and deficit, but we must do so in a balanced approach that does not further harm our weakened economy. Deficit reduction must be comprised by both decreased spending and enhanced revenue measures. I implore the House leadership and the Republican Members of Congress to come back to the table and get back to work.


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