Sen. Mike Johanns is accusing Senate Democrats of taking steps that could lead to a second sequester.
In an op-ed piece for The Wall Street Journal
, the Nebraska Republican wrote Tuesday that the "Democratic-controlled Senate Appropriations Committee is spending $91 billion above and beyond levels agreed to in the Budget Control Act of 2011."
"This irresponsible behavior," he added, "sends us careening toward a new round of sequester cuts and fails to fulfill our obligation to responsibly allocate taxpayer dollars, opting instead to keep spending beyond our means."
"The responsible way for Senate Democrats to avoid another sequester," he wrote, would be to "make the tough spending choices as each appropriations bill works through the committee.
"Instead, they have taken the easy way out and put us on a path toward another round of the very cuts the president spent much of this year railing against," he added.
If it happens, the Obama administration will surely complain again, Johanns continued. "And when they do, they'll know just who to blame. The Senate Democrats will own the next sequester."
The senator said some Democrats believe that Congress can easily solve the problem by simply repealing the 2011 law. But he noted that the Congressional Budget Office has said that blowing through the budget limits would lead to "greater federal debt, which would eventually reduce the nation's output and income below what would occur under current law."
He also cited CBO data showing that increasing government debt beyond the projections of the budget law could lead to another U.S. financial crisis.
"President Obama has called on Congress to use a scalpel rather than an ax to address government spending," Johanns said. "That is exactly what my Republican colleagues and I have advocated as members of the Appropriations Committee. But the idea was rejected by the Democratic majority in favor of overspending."
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