WASHINGTON – Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), chairman of the House Republican Conference, issued the following statement today in response to the Obama administration’s report on the expected effects of sequestration on defense and non-defense programs as required by the Sequestration Transparency Act, legislation which Chairman Hensarling introduced in the House of Representatives.
“Today’s ominous report confirms what so many defense officials have warned in regard to sequestration, including the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, who declared it an ‘unacceptable risk,’ and Defense Secretary Panetta, who compared it to ‘shooting ourselves in the head.’ This report comes not long after the Congressional Budget Office confirmed that allowing sequestration to occur at the same time that taxes go up – as the president wants – would drive the nation over a ‘fiscal cliff.’
“When it comes to averting this looming national defense crisis, President Obama has been AWOL – absent without leadership. Even though the sequester was originally concocted by his administration, the president could not even manage to meet last week’s legal deadline for explaining how he plans to implement these cuts, in violation of the law he signed just last month. Just this week, the House passed legislation that would require the president to put a plan for replacing the sequester on the table – something House Republicans did in May.
“Does President Obama truly want to cut 10 percent of our national defense at a time when the United States is still under attack from radical forces abroad? Does President Obama truly want to send such a signal of weakness to both our friends and enemies at a time when our safety and freedom are more dependent than ever on a strong and capable America?
“House Republicans remain committed to achieving the full savings required by the Budget Control Act because we have to stop spending money we don’t have, and we are the only ones who have passed a plan that would replace the defense sequester with other spending reforms and stop the job-killing tax hike. The most sensible way to achieve the $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction required by the Budget Control Act is through commonsense spending reform, not a weakened national defense.
“I extend much gratitude to my colleagues Senators John Thune and Jeff Sessions as well as House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan for their hard work in passing the Sequestration Transparency Act which paved the way for today’s report.”