TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- After Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) adjourned the Senate Thursday evening, fellow Sen. Roger Wicker said it effectively ended any chance they could reach a deal to curb the nation's sequestration deadline.
"I talked to some of my more junior Democratic colleagues, and we said to each other, 'Are we really going home with a chance to at least get together? People are meeting in the White House and we're going to go home to day before sequestration?'" Wicker (R-Mississippi) said. "Frankly, I think we should have stayed there."
And so Wicker is back at his Tupelo home, frustrated both sides couldn't come to an agreement on time, even though he said they've known about this for more than a year. Over the last year, Republicans have passed two plans the President didn't like.
"They were more or less negotiating against themselves. We didn't get to vote on a Democrat plan until yesterday, the eve of the sequester," Wicker said.
The most uncomfortable part of the sequestration cuts, Wicker said, are those affecting the Department of Defense, but he added much of the impact in domestic areas is exaggerated.
"It's not going to be dramatic like a government shutdown," Wicker said. "I think people need to realize that. We don't have to close air traffic control towers. The Department of Transportation seems to have chosen that. I regret that we're up to the brink again, and I know it seems to the public that we're always doing this, but we need to address our spending problem."
The senator also said he was confident Republicans in the House and Senate would not agree to further tax increases, especially in light of what he considers excess spending and a ballooning national debt.
"There's plenty of revenue; there's not a revenue problem," Wicker said. "[However], if we can't absorb a 1.5 or 2 percent cut at the federal level, then shame on us."
Wicker adds there are ways to make sensible cuts once the temporary appropriations bill expires.
Lawmakers would then be able to use the next six months to find a solution to sequestration.
However, if it continues past that point, Wicker warns the military in particular will have to deal with severe cuts.