Van Hollen Statement on OMB Sequester Report
Underscores Need to Act Immediately on the President’s Plan to Replace the Sequester with a Balanced Approach
Today Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, issued the following statement on the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) sequester transparency report. This report provides only an estimate of cuts under sequestration since OMB was mandated to base its estimates on a spending level that differs somewhat from the level in the 2013 funding bill now under congressional consideration.
“Today’s report provides an abundance of information on the harmful impacts of the across-the-board cuts scheduled to take effect on January 2. This information underscores the need for Congress to act immediately on the President’s plan to replace the sequester with a balanced approach to deficit reduction. We are facing the sequester because the GOP refuses to consider alternatives that ask millionaires and special interests to pay a penny more to help reduce the deficit.
“Democrats have repeatedly proposed a balanced approach that includes a mix of targeted spending cuts as well as cuts to tax loopholes, as recommended by every bipartisan commission studying our fiscal situation. Just yesterday, I tried to offer a plan to block this year’s sequester and replace it with a balanced package of revenue and spending changes. Unfortunately, Congressional Republicans would not even allow a vote on my proposal.
“It’s the American people who will pay the price for Republican intransigence. The report makes clear that sequestration would cause great disruptions across many vital services, from cancer research at NIH, to food safety efforts at the Department of Agriculture and public safety at the FBI, to lowered military readiness. It’s time to stop the political games and start working together to prevent the sequester, protect the economic recovery, and get our fiscal house in order.”