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Van Hollen: 'We wish' House Republicans would hold sequester hearing

Although Congress is not in session this week, the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee is holding a hearing Thursday, which Van Hollen is attending, to examine the impact of sequestration on federal employees and their families.

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"We wish that our Republican colleagues would hold an official hearing to understand the terrible consequences of the sequester … Unfortunately, our House Republican colleagues haven't allowed us to have the type of hearing, so we're going to get this input in the more unofficial manner," Van Hollen said on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports."

George Mason University Professor Stephen Fuller, former Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Marion Blakey and former Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor John Porter are expected to testify at the hearing.

When pressed on the lack of proposals from Democrats and Republicans to avoid the automatic spending cuts, Van Hollen placed the blame on the other side of the aisle.

"[I]t's true that during this Congress we haven't heard any proposals from any of the Republicans in the House or elsewhere to avoid the sequester," he said. "However, both the House Democrats and the Senate Democrats have put forth very similar proposals that have essentially been embraced by the president that would avoid the sequester."

The Maryland congressman said the House and Senate proposals included targeted cuts, combined with the elimination of "special interest" tax breaks.

"We have put forward a proposal on the table in the House. Just like our Republican colleagues haven't allowed us to have a hearing, they haven't even allowed us to have a vote on our proposal," he said.

Meanwhile, Republicans have maintained their opposition to any new revenues and have called on President Obama and Democrats to come up with a plan that both parties could agree to.

"Despite dire warnings from his own secretary of Defense for more than a year that the sequester would ‘hollow out’ our military, the president has yet to put forward a specific plan that can pass his Democratic-controlled Senate, and has exerted no pressure on the Democratic leadership of the Senate to actually pass legislation to replace the sequester he proposed," Boehner said in a statement.