WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after House passage of H.R. 5652, the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012. The bill protects the military from dangerous, arbitrary budget cuts by taking a responsible, balanced approach to cutting wasteful spending throughout the budget. Without congressional action, the military will bear a disproportionate burden of the $109 billion in automatic, across-the-board spending cuts set to take place in January 2013.
"This legislation is an important step forward in restraining spending. It achieves real savings by targeting wasteful spending in every part of the budget, including entitlement programs. We've made significant progress by reducing discretionary spending two years in a row, but it's essential that we also address the true drivers of the debt.
"It's impossible to balance the budget through defense cuts alone, and forcing defense spending to bear a disproportionate burden is both bad security policy and bad budget policy. Both Republicans and Democrats agree that the level of defense cuts required by sequester is unacceptable. Defense spending makes up just 24 percent of the budget but would absorb 43 percent of the budget cuts under sequester -- on top of significant cuts we've already made.
"Our military men and women should not pay the price for decades of reckless Washington spending. The only way to effectively address the debt is through a balanced approach that considers defense, discretionary, and entitlement spending."