Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., ranking member of the budget committee, is warning about the eventual impact of the sequester. Over the weekend, President Obama signed off on the $85 billion dollars in automatic spending cuts, after he and Congress couldn't come to terms on taxes.
"Let's not pretend that this is somehow cost-free. It's going to have a very big wallop." Van Hollen told Jansing & Co Monday.
Van Hollen points to a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which says 750,000 jobs could be lost as a result of the sequester. "When you’ve got a slow economy, that is a very big deal,” said Van Hollen. "I do hope our Republican colleagues come to their senses and are willing to replace these across-the-board, very deep and fast cuts with a more gradual effort to reduce the deficit in a balanced way."
Republicans are digging in on tax increases and say they won't support any budget deal that includes higher taxes. But Van Hollen is hopeful both sides will take steps to prevent any pain from the sequester. "Come up with a plan that at least for the next couple of months, replaces the sequester and give the process time to try and get a longer-term deficit reduction deal, at least a framework for one."