The beginning of March marks the beginning of federal sequestration cuts. The sequester is a series of automatic, across-the-board cuts to government agencies, totaling $1.2 trillion over 10 years. The cuts would be split 50-50 between defense and domestic discretionary spending, but excludes Social Security and Medicare. U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) released the following statement:
"The impasse over the sequester boils down to this: Democrats want to reduce the deficit by cutting spending AND closing tax loopholes for special interests and big corporations. Republicans have stated they will only cut spending, without closing tax loopholes for things like corporate jets and oil companies.
"The effects of the drastic cuts included in sequestration will be felt in ripples -- some will be noticeable immediately, some one month from now, others six months from now, or down the road. We cannot balance our deficit on the backs of seniors and the middle class while letting special interests and big corporations continue to enjoy tax loopholes. We must find a balanced approach to this challenge. Our economy is still fragile as we work toward recovery, and we can't afford to be reckless with indiscriminate across-the-board cuts.
"Our number one goal right now should be creating jobs to continue strengthening our economy. We should not allow cuts that will discourage small businesses from expanding and hiring more people. We should not continue to refuse to close tax loopholes for big corporations or ask the wealthiest among us to contribute a little bit more, as Republicans would have us do.
"We need to sit down together at the negotiating table and work out a compromise. That is what the American people elected us to do, and they are counting on us to do our jobs and figure out ways to make their lives better -- so they can buy a house, send their kids to college, save for retirement, and not have to worry about the political theater that goes on in Washington. My Democratic colleagues and I, along with the President, are ready to do our part to find a compromise. We need our colleagues across the aisle to meet us halfway and do what's right for the American people."