There is no doubt that we must do more to reduce our debt and tackle the deficit, but we must do so with the right priorities. To accomplish this challenging but critical task, we must work together to identify long-term steps to counter growing spending while ensuring that we do not implement short-sighted reforms that hurt middle-class families or stifle our economic recovery. In June of this year I voted to oppose the funding bill for the Department of Defense, largely because the bill included funding and programs that were not requested or needed by the Department of Defense. In addition I opposed passing a one-year extension of the current Farm Bill because it did include a bipartisan proposal to cut wasteful subsidies to large agribusinesses.
As a member of the House Budget Committee, I am taking an active role in making sure that we evaluate common sense options. I support eliminating redundant programs, letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthiest, and protecting the savings that have already resulted from the Affordable Care Act. Additionally, I will protect — not privatize — Social Security and Medicare, and work to maintain programs that help those who are struggling and the middle class.
I will be working to avoid the approaching budget sequestration, which will result in mandatory, across-the-board spending cuts on January 1, 2013 if Congress fails to act. Although I was not in Congress to vote on the Budget Control Act, which included these spending reductions, I have become part of a growing number of members who are working to stop the sequestration cuts. I have repeatedly voted to replace the sequestration with a balanced approach to deficit reduction, and I joined Republicans and Democrats in passing bipartisan legislation asking for more information from the Administration on the impact of these cuts to our local communities.