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House Passes Spending Cuts to Avoid Sequester

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Rep. Ralph Hall (TX-04) joined a narrow majority in the House of Representatives tonight in passage of a Republican Spending Reduction Act, a bill that achieves more than $300 billion in savings over ten years and replaces the looming sequester that would cripple the defense budget.

"The Speaker had urged that the President support this reduction in spending, to no avail, and I had given the Speaker my notice of opposition until the spending cuts were revealed," Hall said. "I am told that the President still opposes these cuts, as will the Senate. We still have a vote left on extending the Bush tax cuts, but because the Speaker did not yet have the votes for passage, he canceled the vote until after Christmas."

The bill we passed tonight achieves spending cuts through repeal of ObamaCare provisions, food stamp and medical malpractice liability reforms, and Medicaid reforms that include repeal of bonus payments to states that increase Medicaid enrollment, among other reforms. The legislation reduces mandatory spending by $20 billion through fiscal year 2013, $137 billion over five years, and $316 billion over ten years.

"This bill replaces the sequester that would slash the defense budget by $55 billion in 2013 alone -- a drastic reduction in funding that would seriously undermine our defense capability and lead to further job loss," Hall noted. "This level of defense cuts would have long-lasting and devastating impacts on America's national security and our ability to achieve peace through strength."

"The House now waits on the Senate to address both the sequester and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts -- a combination that is referred to as the fiscal cliff," Hall said. "We have sent bills to the Senate that would extend the tax cuts for all Americans and make the necessary reforms to avoid the fiscal cliff that lies ahead. The Senate and the President have refused to consider these measures, but we still have time to act."

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