Congressman Allen West (R-FL) released this statement after introducing the National Security and Jobs Protection Act, to be debated in the House of Representatives Thursday:
"In just over 100 days, automatic across-the-board cuts will take effect, substantially reducing funding for national defense and essential domestic programs by as much as 10 percent. These cuts will undercut key responsibilities of the Federal Government and will take our military to the smallest size since World War II.
President Barack Obama's own Secretary of Defense has referred to the pending sequestration as 'not good policy' and says 'cuts of this magnitude done in an across-the-board fashion would be devastating to defense and nondefense programs.'
On May 10, 2012, United States House of Representatives Republicans passed a proposal to responsibly deal with this looming threat, the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012, H.R. 5652. However, if the President opposes, and the United States Senate continues not to act, Republicans are prepared to work with the President on alternatives to achieve the same goal of replacing the sequester with cuts to lower priority spending programs, while protecting members of the armed services, our national security, important domestic programs and our fragile economy.
The National Security and Jobs Protection Act that I have introduced, to be acted on this week, requires the President of the United States to submit an alternative plan to replace the sequester, and encourages the United States Senate to follow suit with its own alternative.
The President said last week that he wants the 'strongest military the world has ever known.' House Republicans are willing to work across the party aisle and with the President to create a solution that will support our men and women in uniform.
We don't have much time left before the automatic cuts in sequestration take effect, and we need to work together to find a solution. The January 2nd deadline is quickly approaching. The National Security and Jobs Protection Act will not only ensure we continue to have a strong Armed Forces, it will show the American people their elected leaders are fully capable of working together to solve the problems facing their nation."