Mark Udall, who serves on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, said the U.S. Department of Defense's decision today to furlough more than 800,000 civilian employees for 11 days this year -- including more than 10,000 personnel at military installations in Colorado -- shows why Congress must give the executive branch the flexibility to better implement sequestration. Udall, who has championed a bipartisan plan with Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) to give executive branch agencies and departments the flexibility to soften the blow of sequestration, said he remains committed to passing a balanced plan to reduce the federal budget deficit while also protecting critical programs and bolstering our national security.
"We need to reduce the federal budget deficit -- and military spending needs to be on the table -- but these indiscriminate cuts are going to cost more than they save, and they're hurting middle-class families in the process," Udall said. "Sequestration prevents department leaders from making smart decisions about how to implement spending cuts, and it is costing working families and critical Department of Defense civilians dearly. Although Sen. Collins and I are working on a bipartisan way to implement sequestration in a smarter, more focused way, it would be far better if Congress could agree on a balanced plan to replace sequestration."
Udall has been a vocal supporter of Republicans and Democrats coming together to address the federal deficit. Udall led a bipartisan letter last year from the majority of Colorado's congressional delegation urging leaders to actively work on passing a comprehensive, balanced deficit-reduction package.