House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement after the Commerce Department’s estimate for the GDP in the fourth quarter of 2012:


“It is deeply troubling that our GDP contracted in the fourth quarter of 2012, representing the first negative growth in more than three years.  With the risk of sequestration on the horizon, no long-term solution for the debt ceiling, and the inability to pass appropriations bills, it is no surprise that our economy was negatively impacted.


“Now is the time for Congress to make the difficult choices and implement long-term solutions that provide stability for the economy.  Unfortunately, Republicans insist on using appropriations bills and the debt ceiling as bargaining chips to further an agenda of spending cuts to important programs like Medicare, while refusing to even discuss increasing revenues as part of any solution.  This has led to stalled appropriations bills, the risk of default, and the threat of sequestration, all of which hurt our economy.  As we move forward, Congress must provide critical stability and certainty by agreeing on comprehensive, long-term appropriation bills that will eliminate the threat of sequestration, defaulting on our debt, and government shutdowns.”