By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R) from Montgomery issued a written statement after she voted in favor of the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012, H.R. 5872. The legislation requires that President Obama provide details about how his administration plans to implement the budget sequestration cuts that are scheduled to take place in January 2013.
U.S. Representative Roby said, “The very people who are harmed the most are the military families. Our men and women in uniform, their spouses, and their children that are certainly not immune to the 24-7 news cycle that demonstrates that this President’s refusal to act is creating this uncertainty.”
Congresswoman Roby said, “This uncertainty is unconscionable in the United States of America that our military families would be used as political pawns in this debate. I am calling on the President to show leadership to provide these [military] men and women and their families with the certainty that they need moving forward to provide the strongest defense for this nation.”
Rep. Roby said, “For that mom down at Ft. Rucker, Alabama, sitting at the table wondering how she is going to put groceries on the table – this is about them. This is about them fighting for our freedoms that allows for me to stand at this podium today.”
The automatic sequestration cuts to America’s military capabilities would go into effect on January 1 if Congress and the President can not come to some sort of a deal on the budget to thwart the automatic defense cuts. On Tuesday Congresswoman Roby referenced a report commissioned by the Aerospace Industries Association. They estimate that the country would suffer a loss of 1.09 million jobs from the defense cuts alone next year, with almost 70% of that coming from manufacturing, professional and business service jobs.
Rep. Roby said that the, “New report says over 2 million jobs will be lost if Congress does not act on the sequester. The House has passed a plan to prevent the devastating cuts, but the Senate refuses to act.”
The U.S. National debt has been growing exponentially since the economic crash in 2008. In 2011 conservative budget hawks in the Republican Party objected to the runaway spending (most of it in entitlements like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, disability, earned income tax credits, etc.). They refused to pass another national debt ceiling increase without passage of a budget that would show a path towards a balanced budget in the next ten years. Senate Democrats refused to pass any budget and opposed any cuts to runaway entitlement spending.
Moderates within the Republican Caucus hatched a compromise with the Senate Democrats and the White House and GOP leadership went along with the compromise which pleased no one. A super committee would be formed composed of members of both Houses and both parties. The super committee would then prepare a budget that shaved tens of billions from the budget. To force the super committee to act automatic sequestration cuts would be put into law that would blindly assault both domestic discretional spending and defense spending. Rep. Roby voted against the 2011 Budget Control Act because of the dangerous nature of the automatic defense cuts.
Naturally the super committee (which some said was unconstitutional in the first place) never came close to any sort of agreement on anything. As a result, the automatic sequestration cuts will go into effect in January. Senate Democrats are demanding a massive increase in taxes on small businesses and job creators in exchange for their participation in any plan to extend any of the Bush tax rates which have been in effect for a decade or the devastating sequestration cuts which are heavily tilted towards cutting our defense capabilities. President Barack H. Obama has vowed to veto any package sent to him that does not include massive tax increases…..even though this is an election year.
The House of Representatives passed H.R. 5872 Wednesday by a strong bipartisan vote of 414-2.