Mr. CICILLINE. Mr. Speaker, there's no doubt that we need to reduce the size of our deficit, but we have to do it in a responsible way and a way that protects American families. We need to do it in a balanced, forward-thinking way that protects our fragile recovery, continues growing jobs for middle class families, and invests in our long-term economic future.
Sequestration isn't a solution. It's a penalty that will put our recovery in jeopardy and hurt working men and women in my home State of Rhode Island and all across this country.
In the last few weeks, we've seen Members of this Chamber wringing their hands and pointing fingers in order to avoid blame for sequestration. It's time to focus on solutions.
Our colleague, Mr. Van Hollen, has offered a proposal that will replace the meat-ax of sequestration with precise, carefully considered changes by enacting responsible cuts in spending, repealing subsidies to big oil companies, implementing the Buffett rule so middle class families don't pay a higher tax rate than millionaires and billionaires, and preserving the Medicare guarantee for our seniors.
After so much conflict and division, let's work together to find an alternative that works for middle class families.