Smith Statement on Supercommittee
November 21, 2011
“It is deeply concerning that after months of discussions the Supercommittee has failed to reach a deal to reduce the federal deficit. Once again, we’ve missed the chance to implement a comprehensive plan that balances revenue and spending reform and puts us on the path toward fixing our long-term fiscal and economic problems.
"There is a firm understanding of the challenges our nation faces. However, there is a lack of will to confront them. The math is simple: the federal government spends far more money that it brings in. The solution to this problem lies in reducing spending while raising new revenues – a fact many of my colleagues have now acknowledged. But simply acknowledging it is not enough.
"Now, due to the divide in Washington and through sequestration, we face significant cuts to a wide range of important programs that have supported our middle class, built our economy and created opportunities for future generations. In addition, the Department of Defense now faces deep, indiscriminate cuts that would not be based on sound policy or strategic review and could undermine national security. This is no way to defend our nation, and this is no way to run our government.
"While today's announcement is very concerning, it is not the end of the road. The now pending cuts will not be implemented until Fiscal Year 2013, but that still does not give us much time. Even the specter of sequestration will be extremely disruptive and could lead to cut backs in defense spending well before January 2013.
"Congress must act now. No committee can address these issues on its own. It is my hope that Democrats and Republicans will recognize the severity of the problems we face and act now with urgency to solve them."