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Obama Signs Sessions’ Sequestration Transparency Bill

Brandon Moseley

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) from Alabama issued a written statement on Tuesday following President Obama’ signing of the Sequestration Transparency Bill that Sen. Sessions co-authored with Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune (R) from South Dakota.   H.R. 5872, the Sequestration Transparency Act would require that the Administration submit a report to Congress on the administration’s plan to implement almost $1 trillion in sequestration cuts required by the Budget Control Act of 2011(BCA).

Senator Sessions said, “Although OMB resisted our attempts to get this information, I’m glad the Administration has realized its obligation to lay out for Congress and the American people just how the sequester would be implemented. If these cuts are not reorganized, defense spending—which represents just one-sixth of the federal budget—will have to absorb half of the planned cuts. This is in addition to the nearly $500 billion in 10-year cuts that are already in place. More than just being disproportionate, such deep cuts would, in the words of the Secretary of Defense, ‘do catastrophic damage to the military.’ I look forward to receiving OMB’s report and working with my colleagues without delay to make sure that does not happen.”

According to Sessions’ statement H.R. 5872, the Sequestration Transparency Act, is the House version of legislation originally introduced by Senators Sessions and Thune. The law requires that the Obama Administration provide American taxpayers and Congress with its plan for implementing the required sequestration cuts for defense and non-defense programs within 30 days of the implementation of the automatic cuts.  The sequestration cuts are scheduled to occur on January 2, 2013.

The Republican controlled House passed the Sequestration Transparency Act overwhelmingly by a vote of 414 to 2, and passed in the Senate by unanimous consent.

Congresswoman Marth Roby (R) from Montgomery said speaking against the sequestration cuts said, “This uncertainty is unconscionable in the United States of America that our military families would be used as political pawns in this debate.”

The Budget Control Act (BCA), enacted in August of 2011, was a bipartisan compromise that nobody likes in retrospect.  Republican budget hawks did not want to raise the nation’s debt ceiling without restraining federal spending.  Liberals wanted to raise the cap and continue funding record levels of entitlements.  The compromise was the BCA which set up a super committee to cut the deficit b moderating government spending or by increasing taxes.  Because the committee failed to get anything done the BCA requires across-the-board spending reductions of $984 billion to be distributed evenly over nine years, or $109.3 billion per year.

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The Sessions statements said, “Under sequestration, each year $54.7 billion in reductions will be necessary for both defense and non-defense categories. The defense sequester cuts are in addition to $487 billion in defense cuts over 10 years that were put in place last year after the BCA took effect.”

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