Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.) said on Wednesday that sequestration is a bad idea -- just one month after saying the opposite.
Long's comments came during his interview with local news affiliate KOLR10 News. A viewer said her husband was being affected by sequestration, and she wanted to know when lawmakers would cut their own pay. "Since Congress created the pain, shouldn't Congress share the pain?" she asked.
Long replied that sequestration was "not the way to go."
"Hopefully we budget and do away with the sequester before her husband's laid off," he said. "That would be our ultimate goal because sequestration is not the way to go."
Long's comments mark a complete about-face from views he expressed in late April, when he told the same television station that sequestration seemed like the right solution.
"The people that I've talked to seem to be doing well," Long said at the time. "In fact, when I got out in restaurants here in town, people come up to me. They want to see more sequestration, not less."
Those who provide services to vulnerable people in Long's district refuted that statement.
"I really can't believe he actually said that," said Carl Rosenkranz, executive director of the Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation, a nonprofit that provides Head Start and other programs in southwestern Missouri. "He's basing it on nothing. Just a minimal understanding of what we're going through here would help."
Although Long also tried to blame sequestration on the president, he voted in favor of the Budget Control Act of 2011. The language for sequestration was included in the bill as an incentive for Congress to come to an agreement on deficit reduction.
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