U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett joined in his party’s efforts last week to raise public awareness of $85 billion in automatic federal budget cuts all but certain to go into effect March 1.
The White House and the Republican-controlled U.S. House agreed to the cuts last year in the Budget Control Act as part of $1.2 trillion in spending reductions over the next decade. The idea was to force the parties to agree to a combination of reduced expenditures and new tax revenue before across-the-board cuts — called a “meat cleaver approach” by President Obama — took effect Jan. 1, later moved by legislation to March 1.
Doggett, an Austin Democrat whose district includes an eastern slice of Hays County, released this video message condemning the cuts. Doggett is the most senior Democrat on the U.S. House Ways and Means committee, which oversees legislation related to taxes.
“I’d say we’re lurching from the New Years Day fiscal cliff to an April Fools fiscal cliff. It will take determined efforts to overcome Republican intransigence to overcome that problem,” Doggett said.
U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, a San Antonio Republican who represents a wide swath of the county, has suggested he is most concerned about carving into the defense budget. About half of the total $85 billion in reductions would apply to the Pentagon and intelligence agencies.