Mr. SCHNEIDER. Mr. Speaker, we are just days away from an $85 billion sequester that will result in arbitrary, devastating cuts to our Federal Government.
Despite the looming deadline, this House has not debated any alternative to protect programs that benefit this country's most vulnerable populations--our seniors, our students, and our middle class. Our fiscal house may be in disarray, but targeted decisions, not wholesale cuts, are needed.
This is the opportunity to come together--for both sides to roll up their sleeves and find a way forward. This is the moment to take a balanced, measured approach to deficit reduction that reduces spending thoughtfully and increases revenue responsibly. I know there is common ground between the sides; but it won't be found unless, together, Democrats and Republicans get to the table and prevent these across-the-board, irresponsible cuts. No two programs are the same, and no difficult decision should be made without thoughtful deliberation. There is no excuse for not sitting down and bridging the gap. Hardworking families everywhere are counting on it.
I ask unanimous consent to bring up H.R. 699, a balanced bill to replace the sequester with spending cuts and revenues.