Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) issued the following statement today regarding the implementation of the first round of "sequestration" cuts to future federal spending set to begin today in accordance with the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. Rep. Kelly previously voted for two different pieces of legislation to replace the "sequester" with alternative spending cuts and reforms: the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act in May 2012 and the Spending Reduction Act in December 2012.
"Sequestration would simply not be occurring if President Obama had been as committed to finding smarter cuts -- which the House approved twice -- as he was to spreading fear and panic about today's deadline. I believe we need to cut spending, but I strongly believe there are much wiser ways to do it than through the president's sequester.
"While the president and his party spent more than a year ignoring or defending the sequester, I worked with my colleagues in the House to pass two separate bills that would have replaced the sequester with smarter cuts and commonsense spending reforms. It is incredibly disappointing that President Obama waited until the 11th hour to take the sequester seriously and refused to work out a sensible solution with his fellow Democrats in the Senate.
"The president's constant demand for higher taxes is the wrong cure for the wrong diagnosis. America is over $16 trillion in debt because the federal government spends too much, not because Pennsylvania families and businesses are taxed too little. The American people should not be forced to pay for Washington's spending addiction. Real deficit reduction will come from cutting waste and reforming our long-term spending, not through job-killing taxes.
"I have no doubt America will get through whatever sequestration brings about, just as we've overcome countless challenges in our nation's past. It's still not too late to cut spending differently, but it will require a renewed commitment to put politics aside and our deficit crisis behind us."