Today, Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) released the following column discussing the president's sequester:
"Over the past few months, I've received a number of letters, emails, phone calls and Facebook messages about the impact of the president's sequester in our region. Many are from hard-working men and women with selfless concerns about the arbitrary cuts to our military.
"'My fear as I write you on this week's furlough day is that our country is doing a lot of negative mission impact with the sequestration,' Kathaleen, a proud mom and civilian Department of Defense employee, said in a recent letter. 'Yes the loss of income has a direct impact on the civilian workers but if we can't recover from the loss of civil service manpower, what happens to our military [and] our nation?'
"The Pentagon has since announced it has found enough other savings to reduce furloughs for staff at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and installations elsewhere. That's good news, but it doesn't lessen the need to replace the president's sequester with smarter cuts and reforms.
"As you may remember, these indiscriminate cuts -- which primarily target the operating accounts of federal departments and agencies, including the Department of Defense -- were first proposed by the White House and signed into law as part of the debt limit agreement of 2011. Nearly everyone agrees that the sequester is the wrong way to cut spending, but the president and his party in the Senate still aren't willing to work with us to replace it with better cuts and reforms that balance the budget over 10 years.
"Why? Because the president wants new tax hikes to pay for additional "stimulus' -- even if that means forcing a government shutdown this fall.
"A government shutdown wouldn't be good for our economy, or our country. And it would do nothing to reverse the sequester's military cuts that are affecting as many as 13,000 people in our area, including Kathaleen.
"In the House of Representatives, we remain committed to replacing the sequester with smarter cuts that strengthen the economy and protect our national security. We've already acted to replace it twice. But Senate Democrats have passed no legislation to replace it, and the president has put no pressure on his party to follow-through.
"Disturbingly, in its quest to keep on taxing and spending, the Obama administration has actually chosen to implement some cuts in the most painful way possible. Many travelers experienced frustrating delays this past spring when the FAA ignored its flexibility to avoid blunt, across-the-board furloughs of air traffic controllers.
"Public outrage eventually forced Democrats to join with Republicans in passing a legislative solution to the problem that didn't add to the debt or raise taxes -- and that's exactly the type of bottom-up movement we need to build again.
"After four years of stagnant wages, rising prices, and persistently high unemployment, Americans know that more jobs-destroying taxes aren't the answer. They want Washington to tackle runaway government spending to help build a better future with more jobs and opportunities.
"In the House, we're doing our part. We can replace the sequester with better cuts and reforms that help address our $17 trillion debt, but the president's going to have to drop the threats and get serious about our government's spending problem."
Boehner represents Ohio's 8th District, which includes all of Butler, Clark, Darke, Miami, and Preble counties, and the southernmost part of Mercer County. He was first elected to Congress in 1990.