Suzanne Bonamici

Sequestration Transparency Act - Sept 20, 2012

Suzanne Bonamici
September 20, 2012— U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC
Congressional floor speech
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During the month of August, I had held several town hall meetings throughout my district in Oregon. In these meetings, I've done a summary of the work that we're doing here in Congress and then opened the floor for questions from and discussions with my constituents.

Without fail, in every town hall meeting at least one person would ask about the partisan rancor and the gridlock that's come to characterize Washington. They would ask me: Can you tell us something that's bipartisan that you've done, something where you've worked together, some achievement that everyone's agreed on.

Now, in responding to them, I've often discussed a piece of legislation that's very important to the debate on budget priorities and the so-called "fiscal cliff"; that's the Sequestration Transparency Act. This bill passed the Budget Committee by voice vote and was later approved in the House, with only two in opposition. After the Senate passed it with unanimous consent, the President signed it into law. So this was truly a bipartisan effort, a statement by almost every one of us working together that we're concerned about the impact that sequestration might have on our constituents, and an effort to get more information about the true harm that that sequestration will cause.

Now, following the administration's recent report detailing those cuts that would come under sequestration, I am even more concerned than before, and my constituents are concerned. And I know constituents all across this country are concerned as well. Mr. Speaker, there is bipartisan concern about the impact that sequestration might have, and yet we haven't been able to come to a bipartisan consensus to avoid it.

We've identified a problem; now we must identify a solution. This should be a balanced solution, working together, and I look forward to working with all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to arrive at that solution. It's a solution for my district in Oregon, for all of the great State, and, importantly, for all of this great Nation.