Government & Politics
8:33 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Virginia Lawmakers Hoping to Help Ease Sequester

Lawmakers in Virginia helped the House clear a bill easing sequestration for the next two years.

Credit wvec.com

Lawmakers in both parties say the bill falls woefully short of what the nation needs. Still, with Congress divided 332 lawmakers held their noses and supported the legislation. While conservative groups oppose the deal, Virginia Republican Morgan Griffith says it’s better than leaving sequestration in place for the next two years.

“It will be the first time since I’ve served that we’ve had a budget agreement. While the spending isn’t as low as I’d like it, it just bottoms out the curve on sequestration. I never liked across the board cuts - so it makes some changes there which are beneficial to Virginia.”

Northern Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly says he voted for it because negotiators were able to protect federal workers from steep cuts to their pensions.

“It was originally going to be a $20 billion hit - now it’s a $6 billion hit. We were also able to roll back the proposal that they were going to dilute existing pensions.”

The legislation is now on its way to the Senate where many lawmakers are voicing frustration over the proposal, which means it still has to overcome a big hurdle before it can get to the president.