Topeka U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, accused Kansas University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little of overly strong rhetoric in a video put out by a science and research group that urges Congress to stop the sequester.
Across-the-board cuts in federal spending, known as the sequester, are set to take effect March 1 unless Congress and President Barack Obama reach a deal.
A group called ScienceWorksforUS put out a news release and video messages from higher education officials, business leaders and students urging Congress to end the budget sequester, saying the cuts would have drastic effects on federally funded research.
In one of the videos, KU Chancellor Gray-Little talks about how federal funds support medical research at KU that saves lives and improves the economy.
"The solution to America's financial challenges should be balanced, and should recognize that the discoveries universities make today will be the foundation of our economy tomorrow," Gray-Little says.
Pompeo said Gray-Little's use of a balanced approach "is code for more taxes on hard-working Kansans and more money distributed to Washington, D.C."
He added, "While I share the Chancellor’s desire to make our Kansas schools great, she ignores the threat to those same young people resulting from the fact that every graduate of her college this May—my son Nick among them—is already responsible for over $54,000 in federal debt.
"As for private enterprise, she fails to recognize the simple truth that it is not federal government spending that creates wealth, jobs, and prosperity for our state and for our country," he said.
He said the video was an example of the "hysterical" rhetoric about sequestration.
Pompeo called sequestration "a home run" and said that when he voted for it he wanted deeper cuts. "That's why it's only a home run and not a grand slam," he said.
Under sequestration, automatic cuts of $85 billion would be made over the next seven months. That would include cuts of 8 percent in defense spending and 5 percent in most federal programs. Over a decade the cuts would total about $1 trillion, cut evenly between defense and domestic spending.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates sequestration will cost 750,000 jobs.