U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger said the federal spending cuts that took effect last week aren't as bad as some had predicted. (Photo courtesy Adam Kinzinger)
By Eric Stock
BLOOMINGTON - U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Manteno, said the sequester that took effect last week hasn't crippled the country as some had predicted, but he said the massive federal spending cuts are an opening for a discussion about the country's long-term financial picture.
"The hope is that in this process, we are goiing to all come together and say, 'Okay, here's everything laid out on a platter what is a big deal that we can really do (to address the budget)," Kinzinger said.
Kinzinger said while some spending cuts are necessary, he says the sequester only impacts about one-quarter of federal spending, leaving entitlements such as Medicare, Medicaid and Society Security untouched. He says that's where reforms are needed.
"The truth is the vast majority of federal spending, when you look toward the future, where is our debt going to grow the most, it's in that mandatory side in the House, that's Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and actually the fastest growing one is interest on the debt," Kinzinger said.
The U.S. House is expected to vote this week on a plan that would give the military more discretion on where to cut, but that money can't come at the expense of military pay or benefits, which he says makes up one-third of federal defense spending.