Virginia Beach, Va. – Hampton Roads congressmen Randy Forbes, Scott Rigell and Rob Wittman are finding out their quest to stop sequestration is a lonely road.
At a Navy League event in Virginia Beach, all three say sequestration will go into effect on Friday, since the support from others in Congress just isn’t there.
Their constituents begged for them to stop sequestration, but they say this time, the tide against them is just too strong.
“I don’t think in this particular week that we are going to come to comprehensive agreement,” said Rigell.
“Washington is a tough place,” said Forbes.
With the odds against them, we had to ask why they even took vacation to begin with, instead of staying in Washington to compromise.
“I’ve heard criticism that Congress went on vacation instead of working, I’ve heard criticism that the President was playing golf, the reality is that most members of Congress, I can’t speak for all, but most are working non-stop. Our staff is working non-stop,” said Forbes.
These local Republican congressmen admit that even some in their own party don’t realize the devastating impacts of sequestration, but they are urging those in power to consider anything the democrats send their way.
“Apparently we are getting a bill out of the Senate that will stop sequestration and replace it with what I hope is something better. What will be interesting to see is if the House leadership advances an alternative. I expect this. I will require this, to the extent that one member can influence leadership, because that has to happen,” said Rigell.
Still, will they be able to get to a middle ground everyone is happy with?
On the other side of the aisle are Democrats like Bobby Scott, who says not all compromise is good.
“If you compromise, you will probably end up further in the ditch. Compromise will only delay it, what we need to do is come up with a plan that deals with the problem that conforms to simple arithmetic,” said Scott.
That arithmetic Scott talks of comes down to taxes.
He says no Democrats will come to the table until Republicans are willing to give on that part of balancing the budget.
At Monday’s event though, at least one Republican, Scott Rigell, made it clear that the numbers don’t work without raising revenue.
They do have common ground, but these local congressmen haven’t been able to get anything done on their own–ultimately it’s up to the leadership of both parties, along with the President.