Following the signing into law of a bipartisan plan from Senators Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) to end long lines at the nation's airports and end costly flight delays, the duo renewed their call on Congress to quickly implement a broader flexibility plan to replace the indiscriminate budget cuts of sequestration with more targeted and strategic spending reductions. The plan, which Udall and Collins introduced earlier this year, would keep the federal spending reductions associated with sequestration but ensure they are done in a more targeted, responsible way.
The Udall-Collins would have proactively prevented the problems at our nation's airports last week and given the White House the tools it needed to prevent harmful cuts to housing-assistance programs, education for low-income children and other programs critical to working families.
"We need to reduce federal spending, but the arbitrary and indiscriminate cuts of sequestration are not the responsible way to reduce the deficit. Our bipartisan plan to eliminate costly flight delays is a step in the right direction, but we need to give the entire federal government the ability to more strategically cut spending," Udall said. "Sequestration is a drag on our economy and undermines our national security by tying the hands of our military leaders. And thousands of working families and civilians working daily to support the Department of Defense are demanding that we do better than sit on our hands."
"Our bipartisan plan would help mitigate the harmful effects of sequestration by allowing agency heads more flexibility to set priorities in reducing their budgets," Collins said. "Our plan shows that it is possible to work together on a responsible, thoughtful plan to reduce our deficit, protect the jobs of hard-working Americans, and avoid mindless, meat-ax spending cuts that do not distinguish between vital programs and those that should be cut or eliminated."
The Udall-Collins bill would do the following:
-It empowers the executive branch to work with Congress and propose the best way to administer what would otherwise be automatic, arbitrary budget cuts required under the Budget Control Act;
-The administration's spending proposal for a given department would be referred to the Senate and House Appropriations committees for congressional oversight and input.