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Question of the Week: Sequestration


Location: Unknown

These questions are culled from phone calls, letters, faxes and e-mails sent to Rep. Gallegly's Camarillo, Solvang, and Washington offices. Rep. Gallegly adds another question and answer each week that Congress is in session. Please add your comments.

September 21, 2012

Question: What is sequestration and how will it affect our national defense?

Answer: Sequestration is an automatic, across-the-board, $1.2 trillion cut to some federal spending over the next 10 years. At President Obama's insistence, half of the cuts will come from the military budget.

Congress has already cut $487 billion from defense spending over the next 10 years. If sequestration goes into effect in January, the defense budget would be cut an additional $492 billion. Experts agree that these cuts would have disastrous consequences for soldiers, veterans, national security, and the economy.

Sequestration is also poor public policy. Although a lot of waste and fraud exists in the federal government, federal spending also supports many essential programs, such as border protection and law enforcement. Sequestration would indiscriminately cut these essential services. Instead of automatic cuts, we need to eliminate duplicative, wasteful federal spending.

To remove the harmful cuts sequestration would cause, I voted for H.R. 6365, the National Security and Job Protection Act, which the House of Representatives approved on September 13 by a vote of 223-196. H.R. 6365 would protect our nation from devastating cuts to the military and require the President and Congress to apply a scalpel rather than an axe to achieve the required budget cuts. This bill now awaits action by the Senate.

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