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WASHINGTON, DC –  Delivering the Weekly Republican Address, House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) calls on President Obama to replace his sequester – which took effect because he and the Democratic-run Senate failed to pass their own bill – with better spending cuts instead of more tax hikes.  She says, “Instead of campaigning for higher taxes, the president should lead an effort to begin addressing our nation’s spending problem.”  

NOTE: The Weekly Republican Address is embargoed until 6:00 a.m. ET, Saturday, March 2, 2013.  The audio is accessible now, and video of the address will be available to view and download once the embargo is lifted.  A full transcript follows.

“Hello, I’m Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers from Washington State.

“Today I’d like to give you an update on the debate we’re having in Washington about spending.  This debate is about more than just numbers and politics.  It’s about the kind of future we want for our children and grandchildren.  Do we want to hand them a mountain of debt and all the worries that go with it, or do we want them to inherit a vibrant economy and a future full of opportunity?  This is the debate we’ve been having for quite a while, and it’s time we resolve it and get something done. 

“Yesterday, across-the-board spending cuts known as ‘the sequester’ took effect because President Obama and Senate Democrats failed to act.  These devastating across-the-board cuts, first proposed by the president, will affect the lives of so many hardworking Americans.  Yet, this week, the president traveled 180 miles to Newport News, Virginia, instead of traveling one and a half miles to Senator Harry Reid’s office on Capitol Hill to negotiate a replacement of smarter spending cuts.  The president failed to act, and his Senate never passed a bill to replace the sequester.

“In the last year, the House of Representatives has passed two proposals to replace the president’s sequester with smarter spending cuts.  Our plans cut government waste and make long-term reforms that put us on a path to a balanced budget.  In addition, we are looking at ways to close tax loopholes and clean up our tax code so we can lower rates and help create jobs.  These ideas get government out of the way so we can bring jobs home and preserve the American Dream. 

“The president wants to take a different route.  He wants to continue singling Americans out for tax increases, even after he raised taxes just last month to avert the fiscal cliff.  The American people know full well that if they give this White House more tax revenue, it will be spent – on new ‘stimulus’ projects and government programs.  The president must stop using this debate as an excuse to raise taxes and start seizing this opportunity to cut spending.

“Because we can’t let Washington continue spending money it doesn’t have, especially when it’s taking that money straight from your wallets.  The problem here isn’t a lack of taxes.  This year alone, the federal government will take in more revenue than ever before.  Spending is the problem, which means cutting spending is the solution.   It’s that simple. 

“In the House, we’ve done the work and shown that these choices can be made in a responsible, thoughtful way.  So we urge President Obama and Senate Democrats to put country ahead of party and pass a responsible plan to replace his sequester.  Instead of campaigning for higher taxes, the president should lead an effort to begin addressing our nation’s spending problem.

“This debate hasn’t always been easy, but making Washington confront its spending problem after decades of inaction was never going to be simple.  We were elected to confront the hard truths, come together and do the right thing.  That’s the American way, and that’s how we’ll achieve the kind of future our children and grandchildren deserve.  All it will take is for the president and his party to get serious and lead. 

“Thank you for listening.”