Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after President Obama called on Congress to enact a balanced plan to reduce the deficit and avert across-the-board spending cuts. If Congress is unable to pass a larger package to prevent the sequester, the President urged Republicans and Democrats to act on a smaller, balanced proposal of spending cuts and tax reforms to delay deeper reductions that would harm the economy:
“Today, President Obama reiterated the message of House Democrats and the American people: that Congress must enact a balanced plan to reduce the deficit, as we work to create jobs, grow the economy, and strengthen the middle class. If Republicans continue to refuse to agree to a long-term plan, a short-term package is a necessary next step to ensure we avoid across-the-board spending cuts that only harm our economy. Indeed, delaying sequestration would, at a minimum, inject greater sanity and reflection into this debate.
“The President’s ideas echo the proposal offered by congressional Democrats to replace the sequester with responsible spending cuts and measures to close tax loopholes for the largest oil and gas companies. Yet Republicans have refused to give our plan a fair hearing on the floor or allow an open debate on the most effective path to fiscal responsibility and economic growth.
“The President reminded us that we cannot cut our way to prosperity. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office made clear today that we need a balanced approach to deal with our long-term fiscal challenges. House Democrats stand ready to get the job done. We must act to put people to work, preserve investments in our middle class and in our national defense, and bring down the deficit.”