The National Republican Congressional Committee released a series of online ads Monday that blame U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart, D-Belleville, and 19 other House Democrats for the $85 billion in automatic federal spending cuts known as the sequester.
The ads accuse Enyart, who represents the 12th U.S. House District, and fellow caucus members of being "so committed to raising taxes and protecting wasteful spending that they are willing to let Obamas sequester continue," even as they support such "wasteful" federally funded projects as robotic squirrels and food menus for astronaut missions to Mars.
Because of their insistence on higher taxes and their refusal to cut wasteful spending, these Democrats are subjecting the country to irresponsible cuts," according to a statement issued by Andrea Bozek, the NRCC communications director.
In response, Enyart's chief of staff Jason Bresler pointed out that Enyart did not even begin serving in Congress until early January, or 18 months after the U.S. Congress approved the sequester deal, and that House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has not even given Enyart and other House members a chance to vote on a sequester-related bill since the beginning of the year.
"Bill is fighting every day for Southern Illinois and urging Congress to come together and do the right thing," Bresler said in a statement.
If nothing is done, the sequester's automatic cuts will result in mandatory, unpaid weekly furloughs for 4,500 civilian workers at Scott Air Force Base, in Mascoutah, by mid-April.
In the summer of 2011, President Obama and Congress agreed to a deal to lift the nation's debt ceiling. In return, Obama and congressional leaders approved across-the-board discretionary spending cuts set to occur by March, 2013 if negotiations broke down over a strategy to cut the nation's $16 trillion public debt.