MESSAGE FROM THE DEMOCRATIC WHIP
If Congress fails to act, two weeks from today, the Republican policy known as sequestration will take effect. Sequestration's extreme, arbitrary, across-the-board spending cuts would severely damage our recovering economy and threaten our national security. For the past eight weeks, House Republicans have failed to bring a single piece of legislation to the Floor to prevent sequestration from happening. Democrats, meanwhile, have now introduced serious alternatives in both the House and the Senate that are balanced and that will avert the sequester.
Instead of taking action to avert the sequester this week, House Republicans continued their attacks on middle-class federal employees who have already contributed $103 billion toward deficit reduction. After House Republicans voted this afternoon to adjourn for a weeklong recess, I joined my Democratic colleagues to urge Republicans to stay in Washington and work with us to find a balanced solution to avoid sequestration. Every day without an agreement to replace the sequester only fuels greater uncertainty for businesses, markets, and American families who are unable to plan for the future. I continue to strongly urge Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell to consider the proposals put forward by Rep. Chris Van Hollen and Senate Democrats and I urge them to begin working with Democrats immediately to replace the irrational sequester.
On Tuesday, President Barack Obama shared his bold plan to address the many critical issues that our nation faces during his State of the Union address. I agree with the President that we need to invest in manufacturing to create well paying jobs and bolster our economy, and take action to prevent sequestration. I was also pleased by his commitment to finding common-sense proposals to reduce gun violence, adopting comprehensive immigration reform and ensuring all Americans are able to participate in our democracy. The President also emphasized that we need to set aside party differences to work towards expanding opportunities for the middle class and those striving to be in the middle class. I hope Republicans will work with us to achieve these goals in the weeks and months ahead.
STENY H. HOYER