Sequestration 2013: Elizabeth Warren Slams GOP Sequester Plan

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) spoke openly on Monday about her disapproval for the Republican-sponsored 2013 federal sequester plan that will impact all of the 50 states. As an alternative, Warren said the GOP should consider President Obama’s deficit plan. Based on the Republican’s stubborn opposition, compromise will be difficult to achieve before their deadline to vote by Friday, March 2.

First reported by The Boston Globe, Warren made her remarks at a breakfast for The New England Council.

“It’s a little more balanced than I would have put on the table if I’d been in that position,” Warren described Obama’s plan. “We seem to have a government that works only by holdout. I don’t know anything more to do but get up and talk to the American people.”

Warren went on to state the sequester is “just plain dumb.” As of now Obama has the ability to come to an agreement with the GOP on how to pass a budget cut plan that all parties can agree on. However, it appears that neither Obama nor the Republicans have any intention of compromise. If the sequestering legislation gets signed into law, then the plan will require over $85 billion dollars in funding cuts. The bulk of cuts would come out of the nation’s education system. Other programs such as employment training, public health, and environmental policy will also be getting cut off from federal aid.

Warren’s home state of Massachusetts, along with all of the other 49 states will be greatly affected by sequestration. The White House released official documents Sunday outlining the details of the spending cuts for each state. If passed, the Bay State will miss out on millions of dollars in potential funding; $13.9 million will be stripped from Massachusetts’ education system; $4 million will be cut for environmental policy measures, especially that of air and water quality programs; and nearly $800,000 will be stripped from job search assistance and employment training companies.

As usual, the main factor that has reaffirmed the partisan divide on sequestration is each party’s interpretation of the role of government. It comes as no surprise that the GOP is advocating a reduction in the size of government spending. On the opposite spectrum congressional Democrats favor federal aid on social programs. As of now both the president and Congress will have to come to a conclusion by Friday. However, the radical differences in ideology involved in budget cuts will cause any plan to inevitably become a lose-lose situation. A modified version of the sequestering program must be made, but Obama will have his work cut for him when trying to get congressional Republicans to agree.

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Shawna Gillen

Shawna is currently studying Political Science and Psychology at Marist College. She has a passion for politics and is an aspiring lawyer. In her spare time she likes to play club women's rugby, and contributes as the Co-News Editor for Marist's student newspaper.

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