Richmond, VA – Today, U.S. Representative Gerry Connolly and Kaine for Virginia senior advisor Mo Elleithee hosted a conference call with reporters to discuss the stark difference between George Allen and Tim Kaine’s approach to sequestration on display in yesterday’s debate. Connolly noted a disturbing lack of specifics from Allen as his district in Northern Virginia continues to hope to avoid sequestration cuts and praised the balanced approach of Tim Kaine.
“George Allen hasn’t put any plan on the table, hasn’t got a thought to share with us about how we would avoid sequestration,” said Connolly. “To me this is not rocket science. It’s a balance of revenue and spending cuts. We can debate about what that balance needs to be but it can’t be zero.”
“[T]he feedback I got from so many members of the Chamber of Commerce who attended [the debate] was, what a refreshing change to hear Tim lay out a plan that clearly made the whole sequestration issue very digestible,” continued Connolly in discussing the debate hosted by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce. “And by way of contrast to George Allen who simply stood by hackneyed clichés. That contrast did not escape people who attended this debate.”
Elleithee noted that, in contrast to Allen's platitudes, Kaine has laid out a middle ground approach to avoid sequestration that includes points of compromise between Republicans and Democrats.
“Tim Kaine’s plan, which he outlined yet again yesterday, just to recap, is letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those making over $500,000—that would generate over $500 billion in revenue over the next ten years. Allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices—that would save $240 billion in revenue over ten years. Repealing the tax subsidies on big oil—for big oil companies that would save $24 billion in revenue over ten years,” said Elleithee. “We do that—instead of facing the prospect of having to find a trillion dollars in cuts, we’re down to about $250 billion. That’s much more manageable.”
Connolly also addressed the proposals passed by the U.S. House of Representatives that Allen had praised, calling them a “Trojan Horse.” The proposals were criticized by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta who said they’d make sequestration more, not less, likely.
“The Republicans had two bills, both of which were completely unacceptable. One says that, ‘Let’s shift all of the cuts in sequestration to the civilian side of the government.’ That would be devastating, utterly devastating…And no Democrat [voted for the bill] and sixteen Republicans joined us I might add—even for them it went too far,” said Connolly. “And then the second bill, you know, that they passed also on a party line vote with twelve Republicans voting no, was requiring the President to submit an alternative to sequestration, but no revenue, there should be no revenue in there. Well, again, that’s exactly the sticking point, that’s irresponsible.”