Columbia, SC — On Friday, the Department of Defense and other government agencies will suffer a $1.2 trillion budget cut, known as “sequestration.” This policy was adopted in July 2011 when congressional leadership negotiated with the White House to raise our debt ceiling, preventing the U.S. Treasury from defaulting on our loans.
The legislation, signed by the president, called for a bipartisan “supercommittee” to find alternative budget savings. Sadly, the supercommittee failed to reach an agreement. Because I understood the implications sequestration would have on our national security, our military and our economy, I did not vote in favor of the Budget Control Act.
The impacts the sequester will have on South Carolina’s economy are of grave concern. Our military installations, the Defense Department’s civilian workforce, defense contractors, hospitality industries, transportation programs and education programs are all scheduled to feel the burn because of these drastic cuts.
In recent months, we have learned that the proposal for sequestration originated in the White House. House Republicans have passed two bills to replace the sequester with common-sense reforms that eliminate wasteful government spending programs rather than place our national security at risk. The president has called on Congress to take immediate action to clean up the mess he created, but refuses to provide specifics or encourage the Senate to work with us to find a solution.
With only one day to go, I hope the president changes course. The American people deserve it.