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Sequester Ax Falls: Maine Congressional Delegation Reacts

Well, the day has come: Congress has been unable - or unwilling - to reach a resolution to the budget impasse. And so as of today, across-the-board federal spending cuts start to take effect. Earlier today, members of Maine's Congressional delegation weighed in on sequestration.

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2st District MichaudRep. Michael Michaud: "I blame both sides - leadership on both sides - for not being willing to put aside their partisan politics and pointing the blame at one another. It's equally shared, not only by members of Congress, but also by the White House. There's a big issue out there; the only way you're going to solve the problem is getting people in the same room trying to solve the problem. And the sequester that actually passed the House I did not vote for, because I thought it was outrageous, but at least they passed something. And the process is that the Senate passes something and then they go to conference - well, we can't go to conference unless the Senate passes something."

kingSen. Angus King: "I've been meeting virtually non-stop this week with members of both parties, trying to see if there's interest in a bipartisan solution. I can tell you that the stumbling blocks are pretty clear: The Republicans are not interested in any new revenues, at least at this point, and the Democrats are reluctant to make significant changes in entitlement programs. So those are the sides that make it very difficult to find some middle ground."

1st District Rep. Chellie Pingree: "Personally I did not vote for the Budget Control Act - or the thing that brought us the sequester. It's like taking a meat ax to the budget, and now, I think a lot of legislators thought it would never happen, and now it's starting to become a real fact of life. And it's a terrible way to go about what are necessary cuts - we could be doing this a lot more thoughtfully; we could be doing this with some revenue from the sources where we can get it. To me it's just unthinkable - it's going to be bad for the economy, it's not good for the state of Maine, and, you know, given the fragile progress we're making out of this recession, I think it's just a very irresponsible move on the part of Congress."

For Sen. Susan Collins reaction, see related story, below.

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