Second District Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito says it seems like everyone agrees that something must be done to reduce federal spending.
She says the question that still has to be answered, this week, is whether those reductions will be made automatically, through sequestration that is scheduled to start taking effect on Friday, or some other way.
“We have to look at cutting government. We have to look at efficiencies and it’s almost like, in some ways, while this is not the preferred course, it’s ripping the Band-Aid off and having to face it,” Congresswoman Capito said on Monday’s MetroNews Talkline.
President Barack Obama has proposed reducing the deficit by $4 million through to cuts to wasteful spending and the elimination of tax loopholes for the wealthy, something Republicans oppose.
“He doesn’t seem to want to get into the issue of cutting and here we are,” the Republican Congresswoman said, pointing to Friday’s looming sequestration date.
She says the U.S. House has sent two bills to the U.S. Senate with more targeted cuts that could possibly replace the sequester. As of Monday morning, though, there had been no action on those proposals.
Congresswoman Capito says it’s time for all sides to come together. “The President has got to come to the table, along with the leadership in the House and the Senate, to move this forward,” she said.
In all, if they take effect as scheduled, the automatic cuts will total $1.2 trillion dollars over the next ten years. There will be cuts for defense, education, small business, food safety, research and mental health treatment.
The White House says some of the effects from the sequester in West Virginia this year will include a loss of $5.8 million in funding for primary and secondary education; furloughs for 2,000 civilian Department of Defense employees; the elimination of Head Start for 500 kids and cuts of $96,000 in law enforcement grant money.
Congresswoman Capito says there is still time to come up with other ways to cut. “I hope these discussions are going on behind the scenes,” she said.