Republican Senators to Introduce Plan to Reverse Defense Sequester
Five Republican Senators — Jon Kyl (Ariz.), John McCain (Ariz.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and John Cornyn (Texas) — are set to announce legislation today to undo some or all of the $500 billion in automatic spending cuts to be imposed on the Pentagon’s budget starting next January.
The group did not release any advance details of their bill, the 2012 Down Payment to Protect National Security Act, ahead of Thursday’s briefing, reported the Hill newspaper. The measure likely will reverse the automatic defense cuts only for a short period rather than through 2021, similar to the plan backed by House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), the story indicated.
Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, probably would not support a bill that only replaces the portion of the sequester trimming defense spending. The congressional debt supercommittee’s failure last fall to reach agreement on a plan to cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion set the automatic spending cuts into motion. Half would be imposed on defense, with the other half trimming spending by all other federal agencies.
Many budget experts believe efforts to nullify or replace the automatic cuts won’t reach fruition until after the presidential election.