With two days to go until devastating sequestration cuts take effect, Representative Jim McDermott renewed his call for House Republicans to take swift action on a balanced plan that won't hurt our economy and a range of vital services for children, seniors, and small businesses.
"I'm dismayed and disappointed by my Republican colleagues' irresponsibility regarding the looming sequester cuts. We have had 18 months to address sensible alternative proposals to balance the budget responsibly, but with only days until crippling cuts take effect, they have chosen inaction and apathy towards the needs and will of the American people. I urge them to find a sane alternative or eliminate the sequester entirely.
"These across-the-board cuts were designed to be such bad policy--to be so threatening to the interests of constituents and lawmakers--that it would shock us into action. Instead, it has again proven that Congressional Republicans' true priority is not fixing the government but breaking it. They are determined to show that social safety programs don't work by making them unworkable. They are determined to show that government is mismanaged by inventing crises to make it unmanageable.
"These cuts make as much sense as paying down your credit cards by refusing to buy gas to travel to work, and they will be as foolish a decision. The 700,000 lost jobs will hit us twice: a spike in the number of Americans who need safety net assistance and lost tax revenue.
"Washington State will lose $22 Million in funding for education and children with disabilities. We will lose meals for seniors. Kids will get kicked out of preschools and Head Start; parks will close and testing and treatment programs for public health threats will be reduced. Research and development funding that drives our state's economy will drop sharply.
"How could anyone think that increasing the number of sick and hungry in our country makes good budget sense? How could poorly educated students, unchecked health and crime threats, and more unemployed do anything but hurt us, both financially and ethically?
"There are cuts to be made, such as those outlined in The Balancing Act, a sensible sequester alternative, which I cosponsored. Only targeted cuts, however, combined with job growth investments to increase our revenue and decrease assistance spending, will solve our debt and deficit problems. It is time for Republicans in Congress to quit brinkmanship and start helping America get back to work."