Mrs. BUSTOS. Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak out today against the automatic cuts known as sequestration which are set to kick in days from right now. These cuts were designed to be so painful and so terrible that they would never see the light of day. This is budgetary insanity. That is why I have opposed sequestration from the start.
Earlier today, I met with the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce and representatives from the Rock Island Arsenal. Last week, I met with a defense contractor from Rockford, Illinois, and I toured the USDA Research Lab in Peoria, Illinois. That's the place where they figured out how to mass produce penicillin, and these are the kinds of programs that are at risk. These programs are rightly worried about the impact of sequestration.
We will see job losses because of this flawed budget process, and it will have a trickle-down effect throughout the region that I represent. Our residents will have less money to eat out. They'll have less money to see a movie or to shop at our small businesses. We cannot afford to have this happen.
I introduced my first piece of legislation a couple of weeks ago, the Government Waste Reduction Act. It is a bipartisan, commonsense approach to reduce government waste and not impact the middle class. This type of approach is reasonable, responsible, and rational, and that's what I would call for in a bipartisan fashion.