Murkowski Supports Common Sense Flexibility on Sequestration

Frustrated Senator Votes Against “Band-Aid” Short Term Approach

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Lisa Murkowski today voted in favor of a move to give the administration flexibility in how $85 billion of sequestration budget cuts are made in 2013 – in what will be a ten year process – and against a permanent tax hike to avoid spending cuts in the near term.  She provided the following statement after the votes:

“The Administration has said they do not have the flexibility to make the truly painful cuts, and former Defense Secretary Panetta said last week that he wished there was some discretion built into the process.  So today I voted to give the federal government more judgment when it comes to spending cuts instead of the blunt, indiscriminate instrument of sequestration. We need smart, targeted cuts to begin to responsibly address our nation’s debt.

“Countless Alaskan families sit around the table and decide against certain unnecessary expenses.  Since the Pentagon needs to make cuts, is it too much to allow them to prioritize the expenses of combat training over activities like Air Force flyovers at sporting events?  The Administration has been vocal on the threats of the cuts, but disappointingly silent when it comes to allowing for a more common sense amount of flexibility.  This attempt to score empty political points has done nothing but scare Alaskans at home and Americans nationwide.

“Sequestration boils down to automatic spending cuts to the tune of $1.2 trillion over ten years.  Smarter, more strategic cuts must be made, but that’s just one piece of the puzzle.  We also need comprehensive pro-growth tax reform, and America must also come to terms with the ballooning automatic federal spending increases and understand reforms are needed to important mandatory programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to keep them sustainable, as well.  The bill put forth today by the Senate Majority was a short-sighted band-aid approach just to get us through the next 10 months, when we desperately need to focus on a comprehensive approach.”

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