WASHINGTON — Washington State University President Elson Floyd came to Capitol Hill Wednesday to lobby against a now-familiar target — the federal budget ax known as sequestration.
Floyd joined the heads of five other research universities to remind lawmakers of the ways that automatic spending cuts are hurting R&D and slowing the economy.
“You can never do that too much,” Floyd said.
Some $85 billion in cuts went into effect in March, split between discretionary spending on defense and non-defense programs. Further annual cuts are scheduled unless Republicans and Democrats can agree on alternatives.
Floyd spoke after a morning meeting with Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, whose 5th District includes WSU’s Pullman campus. McMorris Rodgers has strongly backed spending cuts to reduce the federal deficit and the debt.
Floyd said McMorris Rodgers “clearly understands the negative implications of the sequester.” He said he did not ask the Spokane congresswoman if she supports doing away with the sequester.
Floyd was also schedule to meet with Sen. Patty Murray. The Washington Democrat has been pushing to replace the sequester as co-chair of a budget conference committee that is hammering out a spending plan for the rest of this fiscal year. So far, the two parties have shown little public signs of accord.
Joining Floyd on the Hill were presidents of, among others, University of California, Los Angeles; Tulane University and University of Texas.