"Whether it's the sequester or some other set of spending cuts, the reality is that with a $16.6 trillion debt we must cut spending," Congressman John Shimkus (R, Illinois-15) said on the first day across-the-board spending cuts went into effect.
"While the point of putting sequestration into place was to force a "grand bargain' as some have called it, I do not see a big package to deal with long-term issues coming forth soon," he noted. "The House has twice passed bills that would substitute the cuts with specific cuts that would be more manageable, and the Senate has not passed any type of substitute.
"While there is talk of furloughs and other cuts, how do you cut a budget without some reduction in services? And most cities and states went through a similar process a few years ago. The federal government is finally catching up.
"In order for the budget to really be fixed, we must look at reforms to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid," Shimkus added. "If we do not, we will never balance the federal budget."