Federal budget sequester
Fri March 1, 2013
Congressman Fred Upton discusses sequester and federal deficit reduction
Across the board budget cuts known as "sequestration" are taking effect on Friday. West Michigan Congressman says no one wanted the sequestration to take effect. But he says lawmakers have to work on long-term deficit reduction.
Upton told WMUK Friday morning that entitlements - Medicare and Social Security are a big driver of the long-term deficit problem. He says the aging population is increasing the costs. (NPR's coverage of the sequester)
The sequester was approved in 2011 to enact across the board cuts if an agreement could not be reached on a deficit reduction plan. Upton says he and others who voted for the sequester had hoped that it would not go into effect. He says it was designed to force Congress to reach a comprehensive deal on deficit reduction. Upton says the House has approved a deficit reduction plan, but it hasn't seen action from the Senate.
Upton says tough choices need to be made. "We don't have a lot of volunteers saying 'cut my program.'"