March 28, 2013
Dear Mr. Stoda,
Thank you for taking the time to contact me to express your thoughts regarding what is commonly referred to as “the sequester” — or automatic spending reductions negotiated in August 2011 during the debt ceiling compromise.
As you may know, on August 2, 2011 President Obama signed the Budget Control Act (also known as the “debt deal”) which raised the statutory debt ceiling limit in conjunction with a variety of measures designed to reduce the budget deficit. One of those measures was the creation of the Super Committee which was charged with identifying $1.2 trillion in cuts over the FY2012-FY2021 period. However, the Super Committee failed to come to an agreement. As a result, on March 1, 2013, $85 billion in automatic spending reductions were triggered. The cuts are divided between discretionary defense and nondefense spending. Defense programs are cut eight percent while domestic programs subject to sequestration have increased by 17 percent over the last four years! , yet face spending cuts of barely five percent.
While serious spending cuts need to be made to the federal budget, I did not support the Budget Control Act and have taken tough votes to reduce spending. The across-the-board spending cuts alone will not solve our federal budget crisis; however, even though the sequester is neither an ideal response nor the best response to America’s current fiscal climate, I do believe it is a step in the right direction. For the first time the federal government is forced to confront the debt crisis and reduce planned spending. Yet, we still have a long way to go to put our fiscal house back in order.
A balance budget must remain a priority and our tax policy must be reformed to accomplish this. Since taking office in 2011, I have hosted over 150 in-person town hall meetings and one of the overwhelming themes I hear is the need to throw out the tax code and make it fairer and flatter for everyone. A patchwork approach will not close loopholes and the inevitable complexities of the tax code. For this reason, I support and have cosponsored the Fair Tax Act. For too long, families and businesses have been unduly burdened by an outdated code and it is time for that to change.
Likewise, we must scrutinize one of the core drivers of Washington’s over $16.5 trillion in debt — entitlement spending. Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid are projected to nearly double spending in the next ten years alone and are on track to bankrupt the country unless action is taken. To secure a fiscally-sound future for our children and grandchildren, entitlement spending must be scrutinized and reformed. However, I believe the commitments made to our seniors, those less fortunate, and individuals with disabilities must be honored.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. If you have not already, I encourage you to take a moment to find me on Facebook (facebook.com/congressmanhuelskamp
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Member of Congress
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