Following the signing into law of a bipartisan plan authored by Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) to end long lines at the nation's airports, end costly flight delays, and protect jobs, the duo are renewing their call on Congress to quickly implement a broader flexibility plan to replace the indiscriminate budget cuts of sequestration with more targeted and strategic spending reductions.
The Collins-Udall bill, introduced earlier this year, would empower the executive branch to work with Congress and propose the best way to administer what would otherwise be automatic, arbitrary budget cuts required under the Budget Control Act. It would have proactively prevented recent problems at our nation's airports, and it would give federal departments and agencies the tools they need to prevent harmful cuts to housing-assistance programs, education for low-income children, biomedical research and other programs critical to working families.
"Our bipartisan plan would help mitigate the harmful effects of sequestration by allowing agency heads more flexibility to set priorities in reducing their budgets," Collins said. "Our plan shows that it is possible to work together on a responsible, thoughtful plan to reduce our deficit, protect the jobs of hard-working Americans, and avoid mindless, meat-ax spending cuts that do not distinguish between vital programs and those that should be cut or eliminated."
"We need to reduce federal spending, but the arbitrary and indiscriminate cuts of sequestration are not the responsible way to reduce the deficit. Our bipartisan plan to eliminate costly flight delays and support middle-class families and businesses who count most on our airports is a step in the right direction, but we need to give the entire federal government the ability to more strategically cut spending," Udall said. "Sequestration is a drag on our economy and undermines our national security by tying the hands of our military leaders. And thousands of veterans, working families and civilians working daily to support the Department of Defense are demanding that we do better than sit on our hands."