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Cole Calls for Sequestration Transparency

July 18, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04) made the following remarks on the House floor in support of H.R. 5872, the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012.  The legislation would require the president to submit to Congress a detailed report on how his administration plans to implement the sequestration spending cuts set to begin in 2013.

"H.R. 5872 is a bipartisan bill, and it did pass out of the Budget Committee unanimously, as has been mentioned several times here. That's a good thing.  I think, honestly, we have a very strong bipartisan agreement that sequester is a very bad policy, something that really shouldn't be allowed to happen. 

"I also sit on Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and so I focus on that area and if we don't arrive at an agreement before the end of the year, we'll have $110 billion worth of cuts, but about a 10% cut on top of a half a billion dollars we have already taken out of defense.  That will have tremendous consequences in my state, potentially 16,000 jobs, $630 million to the state's economy. 

"We all hope this doesn't occur.  But we all know that the administration does have a responsibility to plan for it and to inform us of those plans.  So far it's failed to do that.  Worth noting for the record, Mr. Speaker, that we have dealt with sequestration in this house.  We have passed a measure to avoid it.  It's the Senate that has failed to act.  We may not have acted in a manner in which our friends on the other side would like, but the responsibility now is with the United States Senate to at least pass something and put us in the position to go to conference. 

"It would be irresponsible to allow sequester to occur.  And it would be responsible for the Senate to actually act.  So I hope today by giving the Senate additional information, by encouraging the administration to plan for something we hope doesn't happen, we'll actually bring ourselves a little closer to a solution and will come to a bipartisan compromise by the end of this year. 

"I urge the passage of this legislation."