U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, who represents much of Hays County, released this statement on the automatic budget cuts that took effect on Friday:
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“I am disappointed that President Obama allowed sequester cuts to take effect. His decision places partisan politics above the best interests of the American people. The cuts are regrettable, but were avoidable. House Republicans twice passed legislation that would have avoided sequestration cuts.
“The Senate has not passed a single bill to avoid the cuts. And despite the fact that the sequester was the president’s idea, he hasn’t proposed any specific spending cuts to help avert sequestration. Instead, the president demands more tax hikes to continue funding his administration’s spending spree.
“But the problem isn’t that Americans are paying too little in taxes, it’s that the government spends too much. President Obama campaigned on a promise that he would cut the deficit in half. Instead, he has doubled it. The federal government now borrows 40 cents on every dollar it spends. No family, no community, no country can sustain that kind of excessive spending. It is the road to bankruptcy.
“Sequestration is a symptom of a much larger problem – out of control government spending that threatens to bankrupt America. More tax hikes are not the solution. Only serious spending cuts that reduce the national debt will help save our nation’s fiscal future.”