Statement of Senator John Hoeven on Today's Votes in the U.S. Senate to Address Sequestration

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement in response to two votes taken today in the U.S. Senate to address the impending sequestration. Neither of today’s measures passed the Senate:

“Today, I voted for a bill that would have given President Obama the flexibility to address the sequester in an effective and thoughtful way in order to minimize the impacts of spending reductions on the American people and on key programs like national defense, transportation safety and education.

“I voted against an alternative measure that would have used ten years of tax increases to pay for just one year’s delay of the sequester - tax increases that would only hurt an already struggling economy and our ability to get on top of our debt and deficit. Further, the measure the administration proposed represents yet another tax increase in addition to the $600 billion increase the administration forced through just last month without any corresponding reductions in spending.

“Our nation’s deficit in 2012 exceeded $1 trillion for the fourth year in a row, and our debt today exceeds $16 trillion. I believe the best way to address these financial challenges is by creating jobs for the 12 million Americans who remain out of work and growing our economy, which was up by less than one percent in the last quarter of 2012, despite assurances from the administration that we are in a recovery. By getting people back into the workforce, we can increase revenues the right way – by expanding our tax base and growing our economy rather than raising taxes.

“But the fact of the matter is that we need to find savings in addition to growing our economy to address our financial challenges. As a governor for ten years, that is what we did in North Dakota when we were on track to spend more than we had. Every governor in the nation has to make those difficult decisions, and so should the president.

“Controlling our spending and growing our economy are the keys to getting our nation’s fiscal house in order.”