House Passes Bill to Require White House to Provide Detailed Report on Sequestration

Posted on: July 23rd, 2012 by NADO Admin

On July 18, the U.S House of Representatives approved legislation (414 to 2) that would require the Obama Administration to provide details on how sequestration (the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts scheduled to begin in January 2013) would be implemented. The upcoming sequestration would require $109 billion in across-the-board cuts to 2013 federal government spending.

The House bill, Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 (H.R. 5872), would require the White House to produce a report within 30 days explaining how the $109 billion in cuts would affect both domestic and defense programs. Additionally, the bill would require the report to identify all programs that would be exempt from the automatic cuts and include any other data or explanations that would improve public understanding of the imminent sequester.

The Senate approved similar legislation in June, adopted as an amendment to the Senate’s farm bill (S. 3240), which calls for detailed reports from three sources—the U.S. Department of Defense, the Office of Management and Budget, and the White House—with analysis on the potential impact of the scheduled cuts.

It is unclear how the issue will be resolved, especially with the farm bill stalling in the House (the current farm bill expires on Sept. 30, 2012). The Senate could take up the House bill, but it’s unclear if Democrat leaders will allow it to be considered. Regardless, Members from both chambers and both sides of the aisle would like to negotiate a deal before the August recess so that upon their return, they have clarification on the impacts of the sequestration and could then argue to delay or prevent the cuts.

On July 12, NADO and others from the nondefense discretionary (NDD) community delivered a letter to Congress, urging leaders to avert sequestration by adopting a balanced approach to deficit reduction that does not include further cuts to NDD programs. Click here to view the letter.

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