Rep. Harris Calls on Senate, President Obama to Take Action on Sequestration

From the office of Congressman Andy Harris:

WASHINGTON, DC—With President Obama’s sequester to take effect in a week, Congressman Andy Harris, M.D. released the following statement calling on Senate Democrats and President Obama to take action to avoid the indiscriminant cuts. House Republicans have acted twice to replace President Obama’s sequester, while the Senate and President Obama have done nothing.

“House Republicans have already passed two bills that would offset President Obama’s sequester set to take effect on March 1. The Senate has failed to pass anything and in fact President Obama and Senate Democrats have failed to even put a plan forward. The House has done its job, the Senate and the President have not.

“The sequester was President Obama’s idea and was implemented because he insisted upon it. House Republicans realize the plan was not the best way to get federal spending under control and have since voted twice to replace it with more responsible cuts.

“Senate Democrats and President Obama have yet to propose a plan. Now, they are blaming Republicans instead of upholding their end of the deal – to find a responsible way to replace the sequester. The only mantra that has been floated is more taxes to fuel more runaway government spending. I believe prioritizing spending is a better way to reduce the deficit, and I do not support replacing spending cuts with another tax increase.

“Until Senate Democrats and President Obama come to the table with a serious plan that deals with out of control spending, like House Republicans have twice, President Obama’s sequester will go into effect.”


  1. curiousone says

    174 House republicans voted for sequestration including Ryan, Boehner Cantor and Bartlett.
    28 Senate republicans voted for sequestration. Total R yeas: 202
    95 House democrats voted for sequestration.
    45 Senate democrats voted for seqestration. Total D yeas: 140

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    • Defender says

      You forgot about the ONE POTUS that also agreed with sequestration and signed the POS bill into law.

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      • Because says

        Because he was hoping the children could police themselves in their responsibilities to legislate spending and raise taxes as outlined in the Constitution for their particular branch of the government. He wanted to force the issue by offering to veto anything that would kill sequestration, but the children will not be happy until they bring the country down.

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        • Defender says

          Are these the same “children” that didn’t pass a budget when the Dems were the majority in BOTH houses?….oh, wait….that was probably Bush’s fault….

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          • Because says

            Maybe you need to blame yourself for their enabling behavior. After all, these guys are building more Abrams tanks when the Army doesn’t want any while the USS Abraham Lincoln sits dockside waiting for money to refuel. What can your congressperson do for you has been the operative word for a very long time, Democrat or Republican. So Defender, how about defending your defense of everyone’s self serving behavior?

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          • Mike Welsh says

            The USS Abraham Lincoln is not sitting dockside waiting for money to refuel. It is sitting dockside waiting for the political kabuki theater to play out. Both sides of this theatrical production are claiming their roles. They will continue to do so until we, the public, put a stop to it. Our complicity in this charade allows the theater to continue along with the media glee in hyping the false crisis.

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          • curiousone says

            There were only two time periods during the 111th Congress when the Democrats had a 60 seat majority:
            ?From July 7. 2009 (when Al Franken was officially seated as the Senator from Minnesota after the last of Norm Coleman’s challenges came to an end) to August 25, 2009 (when Ted Kennedy died, although Kennedy’s illness had kept him from voting for several weeks before that date at least); and
            ?From September 25, 2009 (when Paul Kirk was appointed to replace Kennedy) to February 4, 2010 (when Scott Brown took office after defeating Martha Coakley);
            ?For one day in September 2009, Republicans lacked 40 votes due to the resignation of Mel Martinez, who was replaced the next day by George LeMieux

            So, to the extent there was a filibuster proof majority in the Senate it lasted during two brief periods which lasted for a total of just over five months when counted altogether (and Congress was in its traditional summer recess for most of the July-August 2009 time frame).
            Add to this that during that time there were a significant number of “conservative” democrats that consistantly voted with the republicans.
            Also having majority control of both house of Congress doesn’t necessarily mean much if the opposition in the Senate decides to filibuster your legislation, and without a consistent caucus of 60 votes to overcome a cloture vote, legislation can be effectively blocked.

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        • Defender says

          WTF are you talking about? What does “what can your congressperson do for you” have to do with passing a friggin’ budget when ONE PARTY was in control of both houses? I’m not defending anyone in Congress…..unlike you….who only seemed to point out the nasty , evil congress that voted to bring on this fiasco, without pointing out that Barry also had his hand in the cookie jar.

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          • Because says

            Do you not see the root of the problem are people seeking their own selfish interests to enrich themselves and other people like them? Did that go way over your head? Are you too busy blaming someone else for the bad choices we allow our representatives to make on our behalf?

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          • Because says

            And Barry ( I know you mean it to be diminutive, because that’s what you do when you just hate), is only the Executive Branch. Congress is the one with the Constitutional Mandate to raise taxes and legislate spending. Get over your ignorance.

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          • B says

            Congress has passed budgets that are not taken up in the senate. The president has offered budgets that can barely get a yes vote from anyone in his own party.

            You can’t tax enough to get us out of this problem. I already pay 28%, how much more can you take from my family and give to another.

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          • Defender says

            Hey Mr/Ms Self-Righteous, did the POTUS need to also get on board with the sequester or not? If yes, then all I was trying to say in my first post was that his vote was noticeably missing from the tally provided. I don’t understand what was so ignorant about my comment. Please enlighten me.

            As for the root of the problem, I firmly believe it stems from greed on the part of the politicians and apathy on the part of the people. So, in that, I suppose we may find some common ground. Gee, I hope you’re OK with potentially having something in common with an ignorant person like myself.

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  2. curiousone says

    Democrats have made proposals:
    Meanwhile, Senate Democratic leaders on Thursday unveiled a $110 billion proposal to replace the sequester cuts (“Federal Eye,” Washington Post, 2/14).
    The bill would raise about $54 billion in taxes by creating a 30% minimum effective tax rate for individuals with annual incomes between $1 million and $2 million and eliminating tax breaks that might be encouraging U.S. companies to move their operations overseas. The plan also would eliminate a tax loophole used by the oil industry (Cowan, Reuters, 2/14).
    The bill also would implement $55 billion in spending reductions, with $27.5 billion cut from defense programs beginning in 2015 and $27.5 billion cut by eliminating agricultural subsidies.

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    • B says

      Your pro-democratic solution is a joke. This congress can’t make cuts in 2015 that another congress has to live by. This is the same offer that Reagan got from the same disingenuous Democrats.

      Talking of cuts in the billions that won’t happen when 2015 rolls around is a waste of time. We are trillions in deficit spending. Almost 40 percent of what we spend is borrowed. Sequestration cuts 5-7 percent of targeted programs. You can’t tell me that there isn’t 5 percent waste in every national department. According to our fearless leader, we will just have to lay off a bunch of teachers and first responders. It is wonderful that in such a serious situation, the empty chair leads the way

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      • Because says

        Find the waste B. My experience has been that one man’s waste is another man’s policy. Quality and responsibility in the government do not come from the top down, they never have. People above my manager (including my manager) make decisions that impair the ability of the average peon to do his or her job. One major issue is the number of contractors performing in functions other than simply support contracts. We have abrogated responsibilities that should be government only functions to operations conducted exclusively by contractors with no technical government oversight – because that would be personal services – so instead, we have an unknowing Contract Representative making decisions that are not technically based but merely contractually driven, And if you listened to the bulk of the bull coming from contracting that I experience regularly you will wonder why they are even employed since they depend so much on work performed by people that are not in contracting. We have engineers and technicians copying and pasting to prepare documents for contract people who don’t know how to copy and paste that are paid substantially less.

        All this is because the ones who feel personally responsible for what goes on in the name of the US Taxpayer are told “That’s how the system works, and that’s how it will be until you retire”. Again, if you want progress in any of these areas, demand accountability from your congressman – not to simply say “No” every time it tickles his fancy to be negative. He needs to work for change with other people, and obtain a compromise that does not simply represent party line that he knows is going to fail. But he did put on a good show and made miserable people happy that he succeeded in blocking progress on any topic that sticks in their constituents craw. After all, as long as you can smear the other guy, that seems to be good enough for today’s political landscape to get re-elected.

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        • Michael DORN says

          As one who has been in the military along time I agree that theres is a ton of waste. Because…your comment about contractor is spot on. We problem in the nutshell is the Congress is looking for what is best for the congress,be they Republican or Democrat, not what is best for the country. Whatever gets them re-elected.

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  3. curiousone says

    GOP proposal would DELAY sequestration for one year:
    Republican lawmakers in both chambers on Wednesday proposed reducing the federal workforce through attrition to avoid sequestration this year.
    The 2013 Down Payment to Protect National Security Act would cut the entire government workforce by 10 percent through attrition at an estimated savings of $85 billion over the next decade. It would replace the sequester for one year.
    The bill would allow federal agencies to hire one person for every three employees who retire or leave their job. The hiring reduction likely would take place over the next four to five years, but the savings would be felt “over the 10-year budget window,” according to a Capitol Hill aide.

    The Defense Department’s civilian workforce, for example, would return to its 2009 levels.

    The legislation, shepherded in the House by Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., and in the Senate by Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., also would freeze lawmakers’ pay every year the federal government is in the red.

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  4. curiousone says

    Other House Republican plan:
    WASHINGTON — The Republican-led House last year twice passed bills to replace automatic spending cuts now scheduled to go into effect March 1. The bills, first passed on May 10 and then in an updated version on Dec. 20, both advanced by narrow margins with no Democratic votes. They were never considered in the Senate and did not carry over to the new Congress.
    The bills would have spared the Pentagon and certain domestic programs from cuts, now put at $85 billion over the last seven months of this budget year. That money would have been replaced by cuts and other savings from DOMESTIC PROGRAMS TOTALING MORE THAN $300 BILLION over the next decade. They included no new tax revenues.

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  5. sorry out of money says

    Cut it Cut it Cut it. How can they “cut” a budget that does not exist, and has not existed for 4 years nows. Seriously Senators, get off your lazy asses and pass one, at least bring one up for a vote. None of these “cuts” are real cuts. They are only cutting based line budgets, meaning the automatic increases that happen every year. With the so called “draconian-doom-fire-teachers-cops-firemen-babysitters-cuts” The federal government will still be spending more than last year.

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  6. ALEX R says

    The Senate won’t pass a budget because they don’t want to be seen as endorsing anything. They believe that the current state of affairs favors Democrats because the electorate is too stupid to understand that the Senate isn’t doing its legally mandated job. The President favored sequestration and has reiterated that position multiples times since it was first passed.

    So, let’s bring on sequestration and see if the world comes to an end as POTUS and the Dems say it will. Call their bluff. It’s not going to be any big deal and they all know it. They just want the poor dumb electorate to get all in a lather for their own political purposes. I want sequestration. Not the greatest idea but slightly better than continuing to run up the already huge deficit and also definitely better than any idea that kicks the can down the road any further. I have no use for most all of them. If they all disappeared on Monday then Tuesday would be a big news day but life would go on and probably be better for all of us on Wednesday.

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  7. ALEX R says

    I know this is off topic, but could someone pass the word to Nancy King, Democrat from Montgomery County to get off of Franchot’s back? Same goes for David Brinkley, RINO of Fredrick County. What numbskulls they both are. Franchot is the only Democrat that I might vote for in this state and I am sorry that he isn’t going to be running for governor. Typical for Montgomery County but I guess we now have too many government workers living in Fredrick County.

    Maybe they could release their letters that they sent to the governor about his travel expenses running all over the place campaigning for Obama. Oh, that’s right, they didn’t write any letters then.

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  8. Daddy Rabbit says

    Franklin Roosevelt said; “we have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Now the progressives are saying; “we have nothing to offer but fear itself.” If those bozos in the logic free zone can’t find $85 billion in wasteful spending they deserve to be horse whipped.

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    • Because says

      Progressives? And what kind of fear was being offered during eight years of Bush? There’s difference between caring for your own selfish interests and caring for the good of the country and those around you.

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      • Daddy Rabbit says

        Sorry Because. Your question is so puerile that it does not qualify as requiring an answer.

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        • Because says

          Neither of you have answers. The only thing you offer is criticism for what someone is trying to do. Take things out of context and spin them anyway you want. B did that the other day when he dutifully held on to his notion that a yearly budgetary surplus was not a surplus at all but simply debt because we still owe money – not like paying it down responsibly was a good thing. Sorry you didn’t get your house financed B. I did, it is increasing the rate I pay down my debt because my annual income exceeds the amount I have to pay and I tolerate no new borrowing that I cannot pay off quickly. And to help further illustrate the point you failed to grasp by the Surplus Clinton left in the Budget before Bush wasted it and convinced you that you needed your money back to spend as you please: my deficit is currently about three times what I take in as income. But it is going down. And I still manage to keep the lights on and food on the table and take vacations and help stupid “Conservatives” that are more interested in their own selfish needs to help themselves or the things they should be responsible for.

          Ask me about the girl living at home with four children from three different fathers on state assistance for food and medical care – with her parents in their really nice home with a huge swimming pool in Kingsville. They voted for Romney because they are tired of freeloaders and moochers like you – while they let the state pay for their daughter under their noses. And tolerate her addiction and trafficking. And you and I are paying for their selfish interests, and I see nothing here from either of you that is not selfishly motivated Whether its to satisfy your ego or to simply bring other people down who are actually trying to make a difference.

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          • A little scary says

            Wow……with all you seem to know about other people in the area maybe you should change your Dagger name to “Stalker”???

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          • B says

            Government confiscation and redistribution doesn’t make you generous David, it makes you less free.

            I am glad you took my advise and looked up the meaning of debt and deficit, it makes you more credible in our fiscal discussions.

            And I have plenty of ideas that Mr. Porter blows off because he thinks I/conservatives are beneath him.

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          • Because says

            It would be nice if everyone did observe some privacy. Unfortunately when you have been scammed by people it’s a little hard to let it go. Go ahead and look up my adversary in MD Case Search. If you find my actions repugnant, I have more bitter news for you.

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          • B says

            Since you have just recently started to understand debt and deficit, I will make this one easy for you……

            From wiki, the first site that pops up in a search of the Clinton Surplus.

            ….For example, in 2000, Clinton claimed a $230B surplus, but Clinton borrowed
            $152.3B from Social Security
            $30.9B from Civil Service Retirement Fund
            $18.5B from Federal Supplementary Medical insurance Trust Fund
            $15.0B from Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund
            $9.0B from the Federal Unemployment Trust Fund
            $8.2B from Military Retirement Fund
            $3.8B from Transportation Trust Funds
            $1.8B from Employee Life Insurance & Retirement fund
            $7.0B from others

            Total borrowed from off budget funds $246.5B, meaning that his $230B surplus is actually a $16.5B deficit.
            ($246.5B borrowed – $230B claimed surplus = $16.5B actual deficit)

            Bush was way worse. I am only clearing up this fib that my friend Because likes to tell.

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          • B says

            And you are correct that I should not have used your name with your recent desire for anonymity. I will respect your wishes since you have made them known.

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      • Monster says

        To Because, tell me, oh wise Democrat, how Democrats, including the Speaker of the House, voted for Obama’s Health Care law without knowing what was in it. If you remember, the illustrious Nancy Pelosi, then Speaker, admitted she didn’t know the details and that we would all find out together. I don’t care whether you are a Democrat or Republican, that is not the kind of government I want. She should have been impeached.

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        • Because says

          That was stupid Monster. It’s what we have come to expect from our elected officials in Congress. Being opposed to it by supporting the other side in their hypocrisy does not improve your ethical standing

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          • Monster says

            Because, you couldn’t answer my question so you make a bunch of crap that doesn’t make sense. Is that the best you have?

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          • Common Sense says

            Because Democrats don’t read bills so they can claim they didn’t know

            Beacuse Democrats are more interested in being progressive than progressing

            Because Democrats want more government so they have more power

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  9. K says

    I finally just realized that each time a cogent, truthful, detailed description of fiscal policy is laid out by a Dagger reader, another reader comes along and refutes the specifics based on nothing but emotion and a false narrative. This lends credence to one idea of how our nation is under an attack that will lead to the end of its economic growth engine, capitalism.

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