Scott, Nelson Bash Washington over ‘Game of Chicken’ or ‘Kabuki Dance’
Gov. Rick Scott is calling out federal leaders for engaging in playground games over the looming federal budget “sequestration,” a process viewed by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson as waltzing into the theater of the bizarre.
As the White House released a state-by-state report on the potential impacts of the deep federal cuts that take place on Friday, the Governor’s Office responded with a statement admonishing national leaders for failing to take a reasonable approach to the budget process.
“It is the responsibility of our federal leaders to administer spending reductions thoughtfully and rationally – not in an elementary school game of ‘chicken’,” Scott said in a release Monday. “Instead of cutting with a scalpel, the sequestration process is a meat hammer.”
Scott’s office estimated the budget cuts would result in a $1 billion reduction in defense spending in Florida and 986 Florida National Guard employees being furloughed for 20 percent of the year.
The White House report claimed the budget cuts would result in about 31,000 civilian Defense Department employees being furloughed, with federal funding reduced $54.5 million for Florida’s primary and secondary education system.
The education cut could also cause 749 teachers in Florida to lose their jobs.
Nelson, D-Orlando, issued his own release declaring that the pending sequestration, the product of a mid-2011 budget deal, should never have gotten to this stage. He also pushed for the Senate approving the $110 billion replacement package – proposing spending cuts and provisions to raise tax revenue – Democrats offered last week as an alternative to the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts.
“And the main reason we don’t have a solution yet is because some in Washington are doing a Kabuki dance,” Nelson said. “I think the Senate should pass the $110 billion plan we put on the table last week to avert these impending mandatory budget cuts. Then we can use that to work out a compromise with the House.”