As many of you know, no one has worked harder than me on the issue of our debt and deficit. And as many of you also probably know, nothing makes me angrier than sequestration.
We’re currently less than one month away from the end of this current Federal fiscal year. If Congress doesn’t agree on a budget by October 1st, we’ll see the return of these mindless, across-the-board cuts.
As a businessman and former governor, I know there’s a smart way to cut government and there’s a stupid way to cut government. Sequestration is the stupid way. Sequestration doesn’t look at what government programs are working versus which ones need improvements. It cuts all without regard to their goals or effectiveness.
There is no state in our nation that has been harder hit by sequestration than the Commonwealth. And continued sequestration would be devastating for Virginia. It would cut back key military investments at a time when our nation is engaged in conflict in Afghanistan and supporting efforts to defeat the terrorists of ISIL. It would cut back investments in veterans' care, roads and bridges, scientific research, and more.
Repealing the sequester without locking in a sensible, balanced deficit reduction plan risks disrupting the credit markets and harming our economy. Congress must commit to negotiating a balanced budget that reduces our deficit.
That’s why I’ve been pushing the Republican Senate leadership to engage in bipartisan budget negotiations now – not a month from now – so we don’t again find ourselves on the brink of another federal shutdown when sequestration comes roaring back at the end of September.
Now, I want to be clear: this is going to require both parties to get out of their comfort zones. Everything must be on the table in order to come up with a long-term solution – that’s how negotiations work.
The last thing the Commonwealth or the country needs is running out the clock until the end of September and putting the risk of another federal government shutdown in play.
Mark R. Warner"