Hawaii Delegation Responds to Deficit Reduction Impasse
By Wendy Osher
Hawaii leaders expressed disappointment over an announcement made yesterday that the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction had reached an impasse in negotiations.
The committee does not expect to reach an agreement on reducing the nation’s deficit in time for the mandated Thanksgiving deadline.
US Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii) said disagreements over budgetary and policy issues have prevented compromise and have once again divided the 112th Congress.
“We all agree that reductions to federal spending can and must be made,” said Sen. Akaka. “But they must incorporate shared, equitable sacrifice, and should only be made after careful consideration of the real costs involved.”
Sen. Akaka said it is “unfair and irresponsible” to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest in the nation, while slashing safety net programs. “We must come together as a Congress and as a nation to make the difficult, balanced sacrifices that are needed,” he said.
Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) expressed a similar sentiment saying, “This is a disappointment shared by families across Hawaii who asked for a balanced approach to our budget that makes cuts that won’t hinder our growth, ends the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest among us to ensure we are all paying our fair share, and protects benefits for veterans, Social Security, and Medicare.”
Rep. Hirono called for a balanced approach to reducing the deficit that focuses on job creation.
She said seniors and families cannot be hurt in the process. She also called for a careful and considered approach when considering cuts in defense and domestic programs saying continued support of national defense must be ensured.