Today, Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) voted in favor of H.R. 6365, the National Security and Job Protection Act, which would remove the across-the-board cuts, known as a "sequester," upon enactment of the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012, or an alternative bill that achieves a similar level of savings. Additionally, this bill requires the president to submit a plan to replace sequestration with alternative savings by October 15, 2012.
"In less than four months, our Department of Defense will be faced with $492 billion of additional cuts to its budget, on top of the $487 billion already being implemented. While defense spending is less than 20 percent of the national budget, these cuts disproportionately target 50 percent of the defense budget that, as put by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, "would have a devastating effect" on our national defense. To further exacerbate this looming threat, last week President Obama failed to produce a report outlining how these spending cuts will be implemented," stated Latta.
In July, President Obama signed into law the Sequestration Transparency Act requiring the White House to conduct a report within 30 days on the anticipated effects of sequestration on defense and non-defense programs. The White House failed to produce a report within the required 30 days. In addition to the Sequestration Transparency Act, this May the House of Representatives passed the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012, which replaces the sequster cuts through other spending cuts and reforms. This piece of legislation is currently awaiting action from the Senate.
"Individuals on both sides of the aisle agree that a sequester would have a devastating effect on our national defense and our fragile economy. I urge President Obama to work with Congress to prevent these cuts and to ensure our troops receive the necessary funding to maintain a strong national defense and security while reducing spending to protect our economy," Latta concluded.
Sequestration is a result of the inability of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to reach an agreement to reduce federal spending. Under current law, sequestration is set to begin on January 2, 2013.