Live at 1:00 p.m. ET → Speaker Ryan's Farewell Address:

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement today regarding the passage of the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act (H.R. 5652) to avert massive, automatic cuts to the Department of Defense budget: 

“America’s war fighters are asked to make many sacrifices in defense of liberty and freedom on a daily basis.  Yet the branches of our armed services have so far been called upon to accept disproportionally high levels of cuts compared to the rest of the federal government.  We should not punish our troops for Washington’s failures.  Today’s passage of the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act takes action to ensure those who defend America have the resources they need to fight and defeat the many clear and emerging threats that exist in the world today.  The House’s action today replaces automatic defense cuts — cuts the Obama administration accurately said were ‘devastating’ to our military — with sensible spending cuts and reforms that reduce the deficit.  We are also acting to preserve safety net programs to help ensure they exist in the future.  Instead of forcing troops to pay for Washington’s failures, we’re eliminating bailouts, slush funds, and stopping fraud.  My question for President Obama is,where is your plan to stop these automatic cuts from hollowing out our defenses?  Does he agree with Senate Democrats who believe these arbitrary cuts are the right approach?

“House members today are joined by a broad coalition of veterans organizations who believe it is critical that we not jeopardize support for our troops and their families, particularly at a time when our economy and wages are stagnant.  They also know it is critical for those who take an oath to defend America are given every advantage possible and every tool available to accomplish that sacred mission.”

NOTE: H.R. 5652, the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act, combines the work of six committees (Agriculture, Energy & Commerce, Financial Services, Judiciary, Oversight & Government Reform, and Ways & Means) to address scheduled sequestration cuts aimed at the Department of Defense.  The committees produced deficit reduction plans in their respective areas pursuant to the reconciliation instructions of the House-approved budget.  In addition to replacing the Department of Defense sequestration cuts, the bill will produce savings of $243 billion over ten years.