Roby's Statement on Announced Failure by Joint Select Committee

November 22, 2011
Press Release

U.S. Representative Martha Roby delivered the following statement upon the announcement made by the Co-Chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction on its failure for producing a bipartisan recommendation to Congress for necessary spending cuts.

“I am very disappointed, but not at all surprised, that the Joint Select Committee failed,” said Roby. “I opposed the legislation that created the committee in the first place because I thought it was wrong to use our nation's military as an insurance policy against the risk of committee failure. Our service men and women should not be used as pawns in a political debate. The committee was really just a microcosm of the congress as a whole, and it suffered from the same political pressures that the full congress does. It is disappointing that the members could not set partisan politics aside for the best interest of our country.

“Under the budget control act, failure to reduce future deficits by $1.5 trillion will trigger an automatic process that will disproportionately harm our military. We all agree - finding savings at the pentagon is possible, and my colleagues and I have already voted to cut defense spending by more than $400 billion. However, the degree of cuts that will be caused by this automatic trigger goes much too far and will result in a hollowed out U.S. military. We cannot accept that outcome.

“There are other ways to achieve meaningful deficit reduction. For example, had the Democratic Senate rallied around the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act, we would already be on the path to fundamental reform without the threat to our armed forces.

“Moving forward, I hope that the Senate and the House will reconvene next week with renewed enthusiasm, urgency, and willingness to make the tough choices needed to put our country back on track. At the very least, we need to find a way to ensure that the first round of sequestration cuts, should they occur, do not put Americans at harm or our military families around the world at risk.”