Mood on the Hill

, Richard Thompson, Leave a comment

As unemployment continues to rise and military funding becomes gradually depleted, members of Congress seem content with twiddling their thumbs and doing nothing to establish a feasible budget plan.

“House Republicans have put multiple plans on the table to avert sequestration and get our finances back on the right track,” Representative Buck Mckeon (R-CA) said at Tuesday’s Blogger’s Briefing.  “These are reasonable proposals, but the President maintains a veto threat over them and Harry Reid continues to block them in the Senate. At the same time, they offer no plans of their own.”

Mckeon, who is the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, is working with members of Congress to curb the Budget Control Act’s automatic spending cuts, known as sequestration, which would cut one trillion dollars from defense spending over the next ten years. This would deal a devastating blow to the United States military at a time when the threat to national security is still very much at large.

“We have the responsibility, in the Congress, to look after the common defense of the country,” Mckeon said. “For us to be taking a trillion out of our defense at this time is just something that’s mind-boggling.”

Mckeon lamented the fact that many members of Congress do not recognize the serious dangers that sequestration can pose.  Not only would it compromise national defense, but industry and job creation would take huge hits as well.

“We’ve been pounding and hammering at this, trying to get people to see [the threat of sequestration],” McKeon noted. “Industry now is starting to see it. As far as they’re considered, sequestration’s already started. They’re already freezing jobs, laying people off, making plans to make big cuts in January.”

Incompetence abounds as there are over 30 proposed bills to help stimulate job creation that are sitting in the Senate untouched. Mckeon stressed that this inactivity in Congress needs to stop, saying that members need to act immediately and work together to produce a legitimate budget to avoid economic turmoil and military collapse.

“This needs to be fixed now, right now,” McKeon reiterated. “We don’t have time to wait to November. We need to do it now.”

Richard Thompson is an intern at the American Journalism Center, a training program run by Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia.

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