U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) released the following statement today after the U.S. Senate voted on two sequestration bills, both of which failed to garner 60 votes. Blunt serves as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, & Related Agencies:
"Spending cuts will happen. The president first proposed sequestration, and he's had months to plan for these cuts. Unfortunately, the president appears to have ignored this looming deadline, and he refuses to propose anything to replace the sequester other than tax hikes.
"We've already dealt with the tax issue. Revenues are off the table. While I think the across-the-board cuts in the president's sequestration are the worst way to make these cuts, now is the time to get serious about reining in wasteful spending in Washington.
"The president has the ability to minimize the impact of sequestration on our nation's economy and protect national security. We need presidential leadership to ensure these cuts are targeted, which is why I voted today to give President Obama more short-term discretion in making the cuts between now and the end of the fiscal year. I am not willing to give President Obama permanent authority or discretion beyond September 30.
"Congress needs to do its job, and budgeting and appropriating will help solve this problem moving forward. The appropriating process should be at work right now to appropriate funds for the next fiscal year. And the Senate should get serious about passing a budget, which hasn't happened for more than 1,400 days."