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Letter to Speaker John Boehner - Impacts of Sequestration

Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) led a letter to Speaker John Boehner urging the Speaker to "bring a bill to the House floor that achieves equivalent debt reduction while avoiding unnecessary economic harm to our state and country."

The letter was signed by: Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, Congressman Elijah Cummings, Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Congressman John Sarbanes, Congresswoman Donna Edwards, and Congressman Delaney.

The letter reads as follows:

Dear Speaker Boehner,

Congress' failure to act resulted in a sequestration which could negatively impact the state of Maryland and the nation. As members of the Maryland delegation, we call on you to bring a bill to the House floor that replaces the sequester with a balanced approach that achieves equivalent debt reduction while avoiding unnecessary economic harm to our state and country.

Although some have put forward the argument that these cuts will be inconsequential, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that sequestration will cost the economy 750,000 jobs. We will see the impact first-hand in Maryland, where these poorly constructed spending cuts will have a disproportionate impact. We urge you to take a balanced approach to more thoughtfully address our nation's debt. This is not the right way to cut spending.

As Democratic Members of the Maryland Delegation recently stated, "sequestration will have a serious and negative impact on job creation and economic growth in Maryland. The 60 non-military federal facilities and 17 military facilities in Maryland would see their ability to conduct operations significantly erode; nearly 140,000 federal civilian employees who work in Maryland would face furloughs and potential pay cuts; and thousands of jobs in Maryland would be put at risk. Our students, small businesses, families, and first-responders would also be affected by harmful cuts to investments in education, law enforcement, infrastructure, innovation, research, and other areas that are critical to building a strong middle class."

It is imperative that we address our long term deficit but these cuts are the wrong way to approach a very real problem. We must take a balanced approach and make cuts where appropriate, rather than allow these blanket cuts to stifle a still-fragile economic recovery. In the face of difficult choices and a need for a long-term solution, sequestration is an abdication of our duty to govern intelligently and responsibly.

There are many ways to address our long term deficit issues but sequestration is not one of them. We ask you to work with us to find a balanced approach and avoid the painful effects the sequester will have on both Maryland and our nation.

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