Representative C.W. Bill Young, the Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, issued the following statement regarding the across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration, to national defense and other domestic spending:
"The March 1st deadline to prevent sequestration has come and gone. The White House budget office now must begin the process of choosing how and when to cut $85 billion from this year's $3.5 trillion budget between now and October.
"The House has already passed legislation to avert sequestration not once, but twice. We passed a bill last May -- 11 months ago. We passed another bill in December. Our legislation replaced the haphazard cuts with focused spending controls and closing loopholes for programs that are duplicative, wasteful, or that are unnecessary. Unfortunately, my colleagues in the Senate failed to pass any legislation to stop sequestration.
"In addition to sequestration, the Senate has failed to pass a budget in almost four years and did not approve a single appropriations bill last year. As a consequence, the government has been forced to operate under a temporary continuing resolution, which is set to expire on March 27th. The continuing resolution uses last year's funding allocation and does not give the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs the flexibility to meet this year's operational challenges.
"In an effort to mitigate the combined impacts of both sequestration and the continuing resolution on our national defense, next week the House will consider the Fiscal Year 2013 Defense and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bills. These vital and very bipartisan measures will allocate funding within the Defense and Veterans Affairs budgets, prioritizing the most essential programs. Additionally, this legislation will prevent a potential government shutdown by continuing to fund the rest of the government in a fiscally responsible way.
"It is my hope that the Senate will quickly follow the House's lead and approve this legislation which has support from Republicans and Democrats alike. This is the very least we can do to give the armed forces the ability to ensure our readiness stays high and that our troops are well taken care of. The time for politics is over, and we need to work together for the good of America."