U.S. Senator John Boozman's(R)
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.
U.S. Senator Mark Pryor(D)
U.S. Senator Mark Pryor today released the following statement after voting against the Democratic and Republican sequestration replacement bills. These bills were one-party solutions that would do nothing to solve our fiscal problems. Farming communities should not be forced to bear the brunt of the cuts, and I won't support the Democratic proposal that slashes core strengths of our economy. It's unacceptable that Republicans would put veterans' benefits and Social Security on the chopping block, while doing nothing to maintain programs that benefit our economy, jobs, or middle-class families. Further, this proposal would cede all decision making authority to the President. It's time to make smart, deliberate cuts based on the merit and effectiveness of programs, and work to find common ground.
U.S. Congressman Steve Womack(R)
Congressman Steve Womack today released the following statement in response to
President Barack Obama's sequestration remarks: "President Obama proposed the devastating, across-the-board spending cuts - known as the "sequester" - that disproportionately affect our service men and women by putting fifty percent of the $1.2 trillion cut on their backs. Today, he called on Congress to find a solution to the mess he created. The reality is House Republicans have already passed two bills to replace the sequester with responsible cuts and substantive reforms. But these bills have gone ignored. "By insisting we tax our way out of this mess rather than accept our spending addiction, the President and Senate Democrats are threatening the security of our nation, and any proposal that replaces real spending cuts with more taxes will not and should not be approved. The President already got additional revenues at the beginning of the year. It is now time to deliver on the spending cuts we desperately need."