Following their successful, bipartisan effort to end long lines at the nation's airports and costly flight delays and protect jobs, Senators Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) announced today that they will introduce legislation to help ensure that spending reductions currently associated with "sequestration" are done in a more targeted, responsible way.
"Sequestration is dragging our economy into the mud and balancing the budget on the backs of hardworking Americans. This is unacceptable," Udall said. "That's why I am proud to stand with Senator Collins and reintroduce our bipartisan plan to inject some common sense into the necessary business of reducing the federal budget deficit. We need to cut federal spending, but we also need to be smart about it. Our bipartisan plan builds on our successful effort to get our airports running smoothly and commerce flowing again. Congress showed it can work in a bipartisan fashion on one aspect of sequestration. Now it's time to go all in and provide flexibility across the entire federal government rather than move from crisis to crisis."
"I am delighted that we recently were able to come together on a bipartisan bill to provide the Department of Transportation with the flexibility to resolve a serious problem confronting the American traveling public and our economy," Collins said. "We can do more. I am pleased to work with Senator Udall to continue our efforts to allow agency heads more flexibility to set priorities in reducing their budget. We can mitigate the harmful effects of sequestration, protect jobs, and avoid mindless spending cuts that do not distinguish between vital programs and those that should be cut or eliminated."
The Udall-Collins proposal 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; and,
-Ensure Congress has appropriate oversight by requiring that the administration's spending proposal for each department be provided to the Senate and House appropriations committees.
Udall and Collins have been at the forefront of urging Congress and the president to find a bipartisan way to strategically reduce the deficit without balancing the budget on the backs of hardworking Americans and the middle class. In addition to the FAA fix, this is the second bill Udall and Collins have introduced this year to proactively address sequestration.
Their earlier plan would have proactively headed off the problems at our nation's airports last month and given the White House the tools it needed to prevent harmful cuts to housing-assistance programs, education for low-income children and other programs critical to working families.