Cardin: ‘Political dysfunction’ of sequestration is harming families

When lawmakers return from the monthlong August recess on Sept. 9, they will have only nine working days to reach a spending deal for fiscal year 2014.

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“October is swiftly approaching, and the House is only in session for a handful of days between recess and that crucial October 1 deadline, when the budget for FY 2014 begins,” Cardin said. “I’m doing everything in my power to put an end to this dysfunctional state of affairs, and to advocate for a comprehensive budget solution that no longer makes federal workers the scapegoat for every budget battle.”

Democrats have called for replacing the automatic spending cuts, known as sequestration, with an equal amount of targeted spending cuts and tax increases on the wealthy. Some Republicans have threatened a government shutdown unless the spending deal defunds ObamaCare.

Cardin condemned sequestration and its effect on federal workers at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s headquarters in his home state Monday. He said the agency, which regulates civilian use of nuclear power, faced a $52 million spending cut in 2013 because of sequestration and that it should expect more cuts if Congress doesn’t act.

“We in Congress should be thanking our hard working public servants at NRC and around the country for their tireless commitment to service,” Cardin said. “Instead, we passed legislation requiring agencies to make extreme cuts that [are] hampering their ability to do their jobs. Our federal workforce deserves better.”

In addition to a budget and spending agreement, Congress is also expected to have to work out a deal to raise the debt ceiling by mid-October, making this a busy fall for lawmakers.

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