I am honored to represent much of western Morris County in Congress. As I have traveled throughout the congressional district meeting with constituents at chambers of commerce events, business tours and town hall meetings I have heard growing concerns about sequestration and its negative effect on the civilian workforce at Picatinny Arsenal.
For my part I have long opposed the arbitrary across-the-board cuts in military spending that have forced furloughs at many defense installations like Picatinny.
I have twice voted to replace the current sequester with sensible spending reductions and reforms that would save about $315 billion over 10 years. The House-passed measures would eliminate wasteful spending and reduce the scope of government in a responsible manner while not threatening our national security.
Unfortunately leaders in the U.S. Senate refuse to consider the House-passed bills and failed to pass a single alternative.
This lack of bipartisanship and political gamesmanship has thousands of Picatinny civilian employees feeling the impact of the federal sequester cuts on their paychecks this summer, jeopardizing productivity and morale.
That's why I continue to work to reverse the sequestration. Just this week the U.S. House passed with my support an amendment to the Defense Department annual spending bill that would provide $1 billion to reverse civilian furloughs by reducing billions in waste, fraud and abuse spent overseas in Afghanistan.
This action by the U.S. House protects our Nation's defense and fulfills our commitment to reducing unnecessary and wasteful foreign aid and moving the federal government's budget in a more fiscally responsible direction. It is imperative that the U.S. Senate follow suit and allow President Obama to sign it into law.
I will continue to work with like-minded members of Congress -- including my friend and colleague Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen -- to protect the more than 5,000 employees at Picatinny Arsenal and ensure that it remains the "Home of American Firepower."