Today, Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) introduced the "Cancel the Sequester Act of 2013." This one sentence legislation would repeal the across the board cuts that are scheduled to go into effect on March 1, 2013. Rep. Conyers issued this statement following introduction of the bill:
"The set of across-the-board cuts set to take effect tomorrow is unique among American public policies for a simple reason: It was purposefully designed to be a bad idea," said Conyers.
"If Congress can't or won't come together to craft bipartisan agreement, I believe we have a duty to avert these catastrophic cuts by any means necessary. The Cancel the Sequester Act of 2013 would give the leaders of both parties the time needed to reach some consensus on budget issues without forcing the average American to pay the price for Washington's dysfunction.
"Allowing the sequester to take place is the absolute worst way to go about achieving long-term debt reduction. Cutting two million jobs nationwide and slowing the growth of our gross domestic product by half a percent will barely make a dent in our debt and will result in widespread misery. It could even throw us back into recession.
"Since 2010, we've reduced the national debt by $2.4 trillion dollars. That's a pretty significant amount. At this moment in our history, it makes more sense to focus on healing our economy and putting people back to work. Right now, an economic recovery is the best debt reduction plan on the table."
During the debt ceiling standoff of 2011, the "sequester' was designed as a default option so revolting to both Democrats and Republicans that it would force the bipartisan "Super Committee" to a workable budget plan. While that committee failed at this objective, the American people have been left to pay the price.
The sequester, if fully implemented, will cost more than 2 million jobs--more than half of which are with small businesses
The sequester will create tremendous uncertainty in financial markets and among consumers, ultimately contributing to an estimated .6% drag on economic growth this year
The sequester will undermine educational quality and research output while leaving Americans with longer airport security lines, more untreated mental illnesses, and fewer federal criminal prosecutions.
According to a Wall Street Journal/ NBC News Poll, Americans oppose the sequester by a more than 2-to-1 margin.