CHEYENNE, Wyo. — U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., told both chambers of the state Legislature on Monday that federal "spending cuts are coming."
The cuts are the automatic $1.6 trillion in reductions known as sequestration. For the past month, Republican congressional members set on reducing the nation’s debt have been hinting that the cuts will trigger March 1.
For Lummis, it’s more than speculation.
“Sequestration will take place,” she told lawmakers in the State Capitol.
The budget reductions are a result of the "fiscal cliff" deal reached Dec. 31. Congressional leaders and Vice President Joe Biden worked to stave off severe jumps in taxes, but they failed to make any attempt at cutting spending. The sequestration was delayed for two months, theoretically giving lawmakers time to work out a deal. Currently, there are no known proposals.
Doing nothing is the strategy of the congressional budget hawks. Since the cuts are automatic, lawmakers in Washington don’t have to pass a bill to bring them into action. A bill could be passed to prevent them from happening, but it’s unlikely that any legislation would pass the GOP-controlled House.
“I am excited,” Lummis said. “It will be the first time since I’ve been in Congress that we really have significant cuts.”
Lummis said that for some of the spendthrifts in Congress “it’s like the sky is falling.”
The cuts will hit all discretionary spending across the board, which means no agency will be able to escape their grasp. However, supplemental nutrition programs, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will remain untouched.
It’s customary for members of Wyoming's congressional delegation to visit their peers in Cheyenne. Lummis served a total of 14 years in the state House and Senate.
Congress is on a six-day break and will return to work Wednesday.