House Appropriations Chair on Sequester: Represents ‘an Abdication of Leadership’

By Melanie Arter | February 28, 2013 | 3:39 PM EST

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) (AP Photo)

( – House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) took President Barack Obama to task Tuesday for the sequester, which is set to go into effect on Friday, saying the commander-in-chief has shown a lack of leadership.

“The president’s sequestration approach represents a haphazard, negligent and indiscriminate approach to governing, an abdication of leadership, if you will,” Rogers said in his opening statement during a hearing on the impact of budget cuts on the Defense Department.

If the player does not load, please check that you are running the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.

“As you men know, leadership is about making choices, tough choices. Sequestration is about not making choices,” Rogers said.

“It will have a devastating effect on important programs and services, most notably taking its toll on our servicemen and women and our defense capability,” Rogers added.

Rogers said he hoped the president “would have put forward an acceptable alternative to this near-term disaster, but we’re all still waiting.”

He said the House voted twice last year to resist the across-the-board cuts to defense and non-defense spending, “only to have the White House criticize and disparage.”

Lawmakers failed to reach agreement on a minimum of $1.2 trillion in budget cuts called for in the Budget Control Act of 2011. The cuts were supposed to take effect in January, but Congress postponed it until March 1.

The budget cuts will “gravely impair the Defense Department’s mission capabilities, troop training, equipment and supply lines, research and development efforts, and our overall readiness,” Rogers said.