Rep. Marsha Blackburn tells Newsmax TV that any fiscal plan from the U.S. House of Representatives to avoid sequestration will prove that the chamber “is serious about getting this fiscal house in order.”
“What Americans will see and notice is that it will send the right message to the world, to our debt holders, to the markets,” the Tennessee Republican tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview. “What they will see is a little bit of a rally in the financial markets, because they will see that we’re willing to start to tear back the overreach of the federal government. It will be a very positive step.”
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House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday blasted President Barack Obama for the $85 billion in budget cuts that would take place immediately, saying the sequester due to begin next week was “a product of the president’s own failed leadership.”
Unless the president and Congressional Republicans reach a compromise budget deal, the sequester will slash defense and domestic spending. Over 10 years, the cuts would amount to $1.2 trillion.
At a White House event on Tuesday, Obama, surrounded by firefighters and other first-responders, blamed GOP lawmakers for the impending loss of jobs for emergency workers and others under the sequester.
Blackburn says that, this time, Obama’s approach is not registering with the American people.
“It’s backfiring, quite frankly,” she tells Newsmax. “As I’m out and about in my district, people are saying that 2 percent across the board is a good start, but what they’d like to see is discretionary spending cut 10 percent because it’s been porked up so much over the last few years — and when you have this accelerated spending, you’ve got to start cutting it down.
“People know that when you do across-the-board cuts, you can use money in areas where you’re going to protect things,” Blackburn adds. “People want to see more cuts. They don’t want to see fewer cuts.”
But the nation’s military must be protected from any further cuts, she said.
“They had already agreed to over $400 billion in cuts,” Blackburn says, referring to the Department of Defense. “That was done last year. Now the president wants an additional $500 billion in cuts — and since all of these are over 10 years, what you’ve done is quadruple the cuts on defense.
“What we need to do is say: ‘No. We’re going to protect defense. They took their cuts first — and we’re going to quadruple the cuts on all of these discretionary programs that are out there,’” she adds, noting the federal government finances 342 different economic development programs.
“There are 130 programs serving the disabled, 90 different early childhood development programs, 75 programs funding international education and cultural training and exchanges, 72 federal programs for safe water,” Blackburn says. “The inspector general said that if you just went down to a dozen different economic programs, you’re getting rid of all those little fiefdoms in those buildings in Washington.”
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