We read this morning that “Senate Democrats are struggling to come up with a replacement for the $85 billion spending-cut sequester set to begin on March 1.” Since the sequester was President Obama’s idea to begin with, and Democrats already got the tax hikes they wanted last month, here are a few friendly thoughts on actions they could take to protect our national defense and balance things out:
- Pass the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act (HR. 5652), which the House passed in May 2012. The bill replaces the president’s sequester with common-sense reforms that would reduce spending, and preserve and strengthen our safety net for future generations.
- Pass the Spending Reduction Act (H.R. 6684), which was adopted by the House in December 2012. Just like H.R. 5652, this bill doesn’t raise taxes on families – it has common-sense reforms that stop waste, fraud, and abuse in government programs, eliminate slush funds, and more.
- Pass a budget that replaces the president’s sequester with reforms that help balance the budget in 10 years. Senate Democrats haven’t passed a budget in four years and are only talking about doing one now because of the No Budget, No Pay Act. If the Democrats running Washington could pass and stick to a budget, these challenges would be easier to address.
Remember, President Obama proposed the sequester. He threatened to veto any effort to replace it unless taxes went up on families and small businesses -- “There will be no easy off-ramps on this one,” he said. Well, he got his tax hikes. Now we need to address our spending problem.
Republicans “believe there is a better way to reduce the deficit” than the Obama sequester, says Speaker Boehner. “But Americans do not support sacrificing real spending cuts for more tax hikes.” If we’re going to replace the president’s sequester, Democrats need to get serious about our spending problem. The three options here are all good places to start.