Earlier this month, I asked whether you support sequestration or an alternative plan to reduce federal spending. Over 77% of constituents responded that they support an alternative plan.
It has been 568 days since the Budget Control Act, which set up the process of sequestration, was signed into law. I voted against this legislation because I believed that it would make dangerous cuts to our military. Since then, I have launched two initiatives: Strong Defense, Strong America and Defending our Defenders, to warn about the dangers of slashing defense spending. Now that we are just days away from sequestration taking effect, several legislative proposals have been introduced to delay or replace the arbitrary, across-the-board sequestration cuts.
Please note: These solutions are not mutually exclusive â€“ implementing one would not necessarily exclude another.
Solution 1: Alternative spending cuts:
In May (H.R.5652) and December (H.R.6684) of 2012, the House voted to replace sequestration with recommendations from six committees â€“ Agriculture, Energy and Commerce, Financial Services, Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform, and Ways and Means - to cancel $98 billion in cuts to discretionary funding. Both of these bills passed with my support.
Solution 2: Protect defense from sequestration:
Last week, I introduced a bill (H.R.773) to remove the Department of Defense from sequestration. Under sequestration, defense spending will be disproportionately cut, absorbing 50% of the cuts. Spending cuts of this magnitude will not only cripple the economy, but will decimate the military. This bill would reduce the amount of the sequester to $600 billion.
Solution 3: Federal employee attrition:
Representative McKeon (R-CA) and Senator Ayotte (R-NH) introduced a bill (H.R.593 and S.263) that would pay for one year of cuts by requiring a reduction in the federal workforce through attrition and a pay freeze for Members of Congress.
Solution 4: Delay implementation of the healthcare law to avert sequestration:
Representative Thornberry (R-TX) introduced a bill (H.R.607) to delay all provisions of the health care law that are set to take effect in 2014 and 2015 until January 1, 2016. I am a cosponsor of this bill.
Solution 5: Tax increases:
Senator Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced two alternative plans to delay sequestration for one-year (S.278) or in the alternative, replace it for the full 9 years (S.277). Both plans are completely achieved through tax increases.
Solution 6: Increase taxes and cuts to national defense:
Representative Ellison (D-MN) introduced a bill (H.R.505) to replace sequestration with $960 billion in tax increases, and cutting $278 billion from defense spending.
Question of the week: Which alternatives to sequestration do you support? (Multi-answer)
( ) Solution 1: Alternative spending cuts
( ) Solution 2: Protect defense from sequestration
( ) Solution 3: Federal employee attrition
( ) Solution 4: Delay implementation of the healthcare law to avert sequestration
( ) Solution 5: Tax increases
( ) Solution 6: Increase taxes and cuts to national defense
( ) I support sequestration.
( ) I support another solution.
( ) I donâ€™t know.
Take the Poll here.
Find the results of last weekâ€™s InstaPoll here.
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