House Democrats Say GOP To Blame For Sequester

"Since the new Congress began, they have not put forward one proposal to prevent the across-the-board sequester," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) of the GOP.

By Stephanie Dingbaum

The House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee held a hearing Thursday in which a panel of experts spoke about the negative impacts of the looming sequester, which will take effect on March 1. The spending cuts, they said, will mainly impact lower income families.

“This is a self-inflicted crisis that should end today,” said Committee co-chairman Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.).

Though they’re the minority party in the House, the Democrats held the hearing to bash Republicans for being out of session this week as the countdown to the sequester trudges on.

Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D. professor of public policy from George Mason University, told lawmakers that the $1 trillion in cuts spread out over the next decade would cause the economy to shed 2.1 million jobs and cause the unemployment rate to rise by 1.5 percent. Marion C. Blakey, President and CEO of Aerospace Industries Association of America, bemoaned the impact the cuts would have on her field, which is the nation’s largest net exporter.

The White House and Democrats have also argued that schools and hospitals will suffer significant funding cuts. Megan Allen, a fifth grade teacher from Tampa, FL and Florida’s 2010 teacher of the year, described the devastating affect these cuts will have on education, particularly those students from low income families or who have disabilities. Meanwhile, Mary C. Selecky from the Washington State Department of Health and Science explained the impacts the cuts will have on health care services.  ”This is really about negative health outcomes,” she said.

Andrews bashed House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) for ruling out tax revenue as part of a solution to replace the sequester. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) called on congressional Republicans to do their job instead of avoiding the situation. “Since the new Congress began, they have not put forward one proposal to prevent the across-the-board sequester.”

Republicans passed two bills last year to replace the sequester, but neither measure was considered by the Democratically-controlled Senate.

Geoff Holtzman contributed to this report.

Tags: , ,

About TRNS Washington Desk

View all posts by TRNS Washington Desk
TRNS Washington Desk
News updates from on and around Capitol Hill.

Roosevelt Makes WAVES, Ike Likes A New Motto, and Nixon Releases His Audio Collection

President Richard Nixon

Here’s what happened today in American political history.

Click here for: Wednesday, July 30

● ASNE releases newsroom census

● Report describes debtor nation

● Get to the ER on time

● Rights groups defend FCC jail phone order

● Skin cancer is a major health problem

● COOL survives en banc review

LISTEN: The World in Two Minutes – July 29, 2014

WorldIn2Logo

Argentinian officials head to New York in a bid to prevent the country from defaulting on its sovereign debt for the second time in 12 years.

Senate Republicans Back $659 Million Border Plan, Dismiss Democrat Request

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol, July 29, 2014, with (left) Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). (Photo by James Cullum)

And there are only a couple days left until the August recess.

Pentagon: Russian Forces Continue Movement Along Ukraine Border

Pentagon Press Secretary Adm. John Kirby considers the Russian forces “capable across a wide spectrum of military operations.”

Former Ukrainian Ambassador: Appeasing Putin Is Not The Answer

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to reporters on March 4, 2014. Photo: Presidential Press and Information Office

“No matter what individual separatist pushed the button to fire the weapon, let’s be clear, the tragedy is Russian responsibility,” the Former U.S. Ambassador said Tuesday.