Van Hollen: House Republicans Prevent Vote on Balanced Approach to Replace Sequester

Sep 12, 2012 Issues: Sequester


Washington, DC – Today Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, issued the following statement after the House Rules Committee voted to deny Democrats an opportunity to offer an alternative to the sequester on the House Floor tomorrow:

“Today, House Republicans refused to allow a vote on the Floor on the Democrats’ balanced approach to replace the pending sequester’s across-the-board spending cuts. Republicans have rigged the rules of the House in a way that precludes closing even one special interest tax loophole as part of a balanced effort to replace the sequester, despite the fact that a balanced approach to deficit reduction – using a combination of targeted spending cuts as well as cuts to tax loopholes – has been recommended by every bipartisan group that has evaluated our fiscal challenge. Congress has already agreed to nearly $1 trillion of spending cuts over the next ten years – where is the balance? 

“Democrats offered an alternative that would actually stop the sequester, unlike the Republican bill, which, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, ‘by itself, would have no impact on the federal budget.’  Our plan includes the Buffett Rule to reduce the deficit without hitting working families, and cuts unnecessary subsidies for agriculture and Big Oil.  It stands in stark contrast to the Republican’s proposal passed this spring, which finds savings by shredding the safety net for hundreds of thousands of low-income children, women, seniors, and other Americans. As millions continue to struggle to make ends meet, this approach is deeply irresponsible. 

“Unfortunately, the Republican bill coming to the floor will be the only option given to Members of Congress. It’s time to stop playing political games and find an alternative to the harmful sequester that doesn’t endanger our economic recovery and American families.”

To read the text of Van Hollen’s amendment, click here.