Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-VA04) proposed HR 773 today, which exempts the Department of Defense from the sequester.
“Lawmakers in Washington have crossed a red line in our constitutional duty — outlined in the first sentence of the U.S. Constitution — to provide for the common defense,” said Forbes. “I voted against sequestration and I’ve warned about these cuts for 18 months. This bill represents an opportunity for lawmakers to blunt sequestration’s debilitating impact on national defense.”
Forbes explains that national defense has been cut by $800 billion since 2009, faces an additional $500 billion in cuts with the sequester, and that these cuts represent the greatest threat to our security (not Chinese hacking, North Korea’s missile tests or Iran’s new uranium mines…hey, maybe we can get our fuel from Persia instead of Coles Hill? But I digress…). He goes on to say in a release that this is the largest cut to defense in three and half decades – including the cuts of the 1990s that left us unprepared for 9/11.
Fifty percent of the sequester comes from the Defense Department and ten percent of the nationwide job losses will occur in Virginia, with over 200,000 individuals here at risk of losing their jobs he said.
Forbes legislation currently has no co-sponsors and has been referred to the House Budget Committee with just four days to go before the sequester takes effect.
While Forbes is proposing House action, Majority Leader Eric Cantor is practically begging the president, whose White House proposed the idea of a sequester in the first place, and the Democratic Senate to do something.
“I sponsored, and the House twice passed, legislation to replace the President’s harmful sequester cuts with smarter, more responsible savings. Many of these ideas were drawn from some of the President’s own proposals, which he now rejects unless they’re coupled with more tax hikes,” Cantor said. “The Commonwealth will feel the impact of the sequester more than most states. Tomorrow, the President will be in Newport News, one of the areas that will be heavily impacted by the sequester. It’s time for us to come together and set aside our differences. The President should stop campaigning and start finding smarter ways to tackle our spending problem. It’s past time for the President to stop making excuses, call the Democratic Senate into action and finally work with us on a serious solution.”
Unfortunately, we’re well past 1000 days since the Democratic Senate passed a budget and more than 950 days since a major legislative action was taken by the Senate. It’s unlikely they’ll do anything now.