By Marisa Kwiatkowski
U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville, said he is frustrated by the government's inability to get its finances in order.
The congressman spoke Wednesday with The Times Editorial Board about the automatic federal spending cuts known as the sequester, threats from North Korea and the Affordable Care Act.
Visclosky said he was mad and frustrated the government couldn't avert the spending cuts.
"If you had asked me in December, I would've told you no one in their right mind would have let it get this far," he said. "I was wrong."
Visclosky said things will get worse before they get better. He also said every day the government doesn't deal with the growth of Social Security, Medicare and interest on the national debt means less money spent on investments such as education.
He said he is not suggesting cuts to Social Security and Medicare, but wants to make sure they are preserved for future generations.
That means the government will need additional revenue, he said.
"We can't keep going on like this," Visclosky said. "We lurch from crisis to crisis. We don't govern anymore."
Visclosky said the United States is taking precautionary measures to protect itself against the threat of attacks by North Korea.
"It's a very serious situation," he said. "No one is taking it lightly."
Visclosky said he would rather focus on the economy than guns or immigration.
He has supported legislation that would prohibit businesses from receiving federal assistance if they lay off more U.S. workers than workers from other countries.
He also supported bills that would require certain federal agencies to use iron and steel produced in the U.S. for public projects and would ensure U.S. goods were used in transportation infrastructure investments.