Little Hope for Senate Votes to Fix Sequester
The Senate is moving toward separate votes Thursday on competing plans to replace, or at least mitigate, $85 billion in automatic spending reductions set to take effect Friday.
Neither is likely to gain the required 60 votes for passage, though, leaving the March 27 deadline for extending fiscal 2013 funding for the federal government as the real milestone for Congress to address the sequester, reports CQ News.
Senate Republicans still are crafting their proposal, with some party members leaning toward giving DOD and other agencies flexibility to reallocate their funding. That language, though, could be included in the continuing resolution that is likely passed to fund the government for the last six months of the fiscal year.
Still, some members of both parties are hesitant to provide the White House and agencies increased latitude to make spending decisions, according to the story.
Republicans are roundly opposed to the plan that Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will offer because it includes a tax increase on Americans earning more than $1 million. The $110 billion plan would be split evenly between spending cuts and tax increases, and nullify the sequester through the end of the calendar year. Defense spending under the Democrats’ plan would be reduced by $27.5 billion over a seven-year period starting in fiscal 2015, rather than by $43 billion this year, as it would if sequestration goes forward.