Budget

House GOP push White House for details on automatic cuts

The House bill comes the week after 30 GOP senators – led by Jeff Sessions (Ala.), the ranking member at Senate Budget, and John Thune (S.D.), the chamber’s No. 3 Republican – introduced similar legislation.

{mosads}Under the bills, known as the Sequestration Transparency Act, the White House would have to give Congress a detailed breakdown of how spending would be cut.

As of now, a roughly $109 billion cut to federal spending will go into effect on Jan. 2, a consequence of the failure of last year’s supercommittee to craft a deficit-reduction deal. Hensarling served as co-chairman of that deficit-reduction panel.

In all, nearly $1 trillion of cuts are scheduled to go into effect over a decade.

The automatic spending cuts are to be implemented around the same time the Bush-era tax cuts and other revenue policies are set to expire, something analysts have dubbed a “fiscal cliff.” The Congressional Budget Office has said that a recession is likely to follow if lawmakers don’t act on those issues.

House Republicans have passed a measure that would undo most of the sequester, with the new cuts coming largely from federal worker benefits, food stamps, entitlement programs and the Democratic healthcare overhaul.

For their part, top congressional Democrats have said that they hoped the sequester would push Republicans to negotiate a deficit-reduction deal that would include revenue increases.

“Once Republicans are willing to abandon their commitment to more tax breaks for multi-millionaires and special interests and their plans to end Medicare, I am confident that we can reach an agreement,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) wrote to a group of Senate Republicans last week.

Tags Harry Reid Jeff Sessions John Thune

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