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Rep. Linda Sanchez Calls Sequestration ‘A Nightmare’



Rep. Linda T. Sanchez was in Norwalk this week.  Randy Economy Photo

Rep. Linda T. Sanchez was in Norwalk this week. Randy Economy Photo

By Brian Hews

Congresswoman Linda Sanchez lashed out over the upcoming deep mandatory cuts in government spending known as Sequestration as the “perfect nightmare scenario that is about to become reality.”

Sanchez, who represents a wide swatch of Southeast Los Angeles County, spoke before a small gathering of business owners and city officials on Wednesday afternoon in Norwalk during an event billed by organizers as a “State of the Nation.”

Sanchez didn’t miss words in her comments and frustrations about the “gridlock” in Washington DC, and the Republican controlled House of Representatives.

“We have a Do-Nothing Congress.  They don’t do anything to help the average America.  They do anything to help small businesses and cities and for public education.  Sequestration will literally destroy many of us financially,” Sanchez said.

In a one on one interview with Los Cerritos Community Newspaper before her remarks, Sanchez said that this current Congress “is the most difficult to navigate” since she was first elected to the House of Representatives more than a decade ago.

“We are lurching from one business crisis to another.  Just trying to maintain the basics in Congress is nearly impossible these days,” Sanchez said.

“Plain and simple, Sequestration is going to lead to deep stupid harmful cuts, and come the end of May and into June is when the real pain is going to be felt across the nation,” Sanchez said.

“The unemployment rate is still too high. However, we are making a comeback. The national unemployment rate is at its lowest point since 2008. California’s unemployment rate is at its lowest since February 2009,” she said.

“My top priority right now is fighting for policies that help create jobs in California.  That means certainty for small businesses, smart tax policy, and infrastructure investments that help keep Southern California competitive. In my view, the best way to support the economy is to focus on small business. Small business drives our recovery. You, as small business owners, create two out of every three jobs,” Sanchez stressed.

“As small business owners, you need stability and certainty in order to make investments. I wish that many of my colleagues were as committed to providing certainty as they are dysfunction. Congress has been lurching from one manufactured crisis to another. Sequestration is just the latest, and, in my view, the most dangerous,” Sanchez lamented.

“Right now, many economists are predicting that our economy will go into another recession, if we don’t fix the deep, reckless cuts of sequestration that went into effect earlier this year. I voted against the Budget Control Act, which gave us sequestration. I voted against it because it would gut investments into California and make California less competitive. Sequestration will also hurt our small businesses,” she continued.

“This is the time we should be making your lives easier as small business owners—not more difficult!  Right now, many of our local businesses are having a hard time getting loans to expand their business.  Sequestration will slash SBA loans. Many of you may be in a good position to expand but can’t get loans to finance the effort.  You need the ability to pay for major expenses up front so you can grow your business.  You need to be able to get financing,” she said.

Sanchez also blasted the “outdated Federal Tax Code” in her comments.  “We need a tax code that reflects the needs of small businesses and provides incentives for entrepreneurship. Tax reform is one subject both Democrats and Republicans say needs to be addressed. The big questions are will something get done, and if it does, will it be meaningful to hardworking Americans?”

Sanchez said that she is “optimistic.”

“As you may know, I am a member of the Ways and Means Committee, which is responsible for our tax code. The Committee Chairman and the Ranking Member both say they want to get tax code reform done. Both parties recognize that our tax code is out of date.  Both Democrats and Republicans agree that it’s time to start combing the code for tax breaks that don’t serve their purpose anymore,” she said.

“The big question is, can tax code reform get done? The last time Congress overhauled the tax code was 1986. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 is one of the very few pieces of legislation in the history of our Republic that profoundly affected so many Americans.”

Sanchez also said that she will “continue to fight for grants and funding for our infrastructure, education, and smart investments that will produce a vibrant, thriving Southern California. I’m willing to do the hard work and I’m hopeful my colleagues are, too. We should be doing all that we can to focus on creating jobs and supporting small businesses.”

Sanchez, who in the past has moonlighted as a stand-up comic, and is considered to be one of the humorous members of Congress, delivered a few one liners during her remarks.

“Today, I am sitting with the Mayor and City Council of Norwalk.  I guess they wanted to put all the troublemakers at the same table,” she quipped.

Sanchez also made fun of the Federal Tax Code.  “The words ‘cable television’ or lap-top computer’ is not even referenced in the code. Instead it refers to the main method of communication as coming from an antenna.  Let’s get serious….”