Two Senate measures to ward off sequestration fail to advance
Feb 28 2013
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman today voted against the Senate Majority’s last ditch effort to force another tax hike on Americans and eliminate spending cuts slated to kick in tomorrow.
“We absolutely have to cut spending. While sequestration is not the optimal way to accomplish deficit reduction, it will at least force Washington to spend less, something that it has failed to do in years,” Boozman said.
Boozman voted against the Senate Majority’s plan, supported by the White House, which sought to replace the sequester cuts by eliminating agriculture support programs, cutting defense spending and increasing taxes. The Congressional Budget Office today said that the Senate Majority’s plan actually increases the deficit by over $7 billion.
“The can has been kicked so far down the road it is out of view. Yet President Obama and the Senate Majority want to put off spending cuts again. They want to try to solve this problem on the backs of farmers, small business owners and middle class Americans. We already addressed the tax portion of the fiscal cliff. We cannot delay the other end the equation, spending cuts, any longer,” Boozman said.
Boozman added, “The reality is Arkansans have been forced to make difficult decisions in this tough economy. Many of them haven’t seen a raise in years, but their taxes, gas prices and even the price of food at the store has gone up. To tell them that Washington cannot tighten its belt a little as well would be disingenuous and completely out-of-touch.”
Boozman voted in favor of a Republican plan that sets up a process for the President to propose cuts that would achieve the same amount of savings in a different manner by March 15, 2013. Additionally, the Republican plan allows Congress final approval in the President’s proposal by March 24th.
“Spending cuts must move forward. Ideally, we would like to make them in a smarter, more targeted manner than the across-the-board cuts mandated by sequestration. This is why I voted to give the administration flexibility in how each department trims its respective budget to achieve the same amount of savings required by sequestration. This bill would have allowed the administration to make the cuts in the most effective way,” Boozman said.
Both bills failed to gain the 60 votes necessary to move forward in the Senate.