Feb 27 2013

Ranking Member Adam Smith Proposes Responsible Solution to Sequestration

Bill Would Remove Sequestration, Reduce Spending, Free Economy from Uncertainty, Protect National Security

Washington D.C. - Today, as the implementation of sequestration grows closer, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith will introduce the Sequestration Relief Act of 2013 (Bill Text). The bill is a responsible approach designed to eliminate sequestration and implement an alternative spending plan that is designed to provide certainty to our economy, the Department of Defense, and the entire federal government.

“Cuts through sequestration were intentionally designed to be so unacceptable and so damaging to national security and the economy, that Congress would be forced to take serious action to reduce the deficit,” said Ranking Member Smith.  “Unfortunately, that threat failed to produce a comprehensive, balanced solution to our deficit challenges.  We can no longer rely on this devastating mechanism to compel action. My bill would make a down payment on deficit reduction, dispel some of the economic uncertainty, and remove the threat of sequestration to our economy, the Department of Defense, and the entire federal government.”

The Responsible Solution

The legislation introduced by Smith would eliminate the sequester scheduled to take effect on March 1, 2013, and remove the Budget Control Act’s statutory requirement to produce $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction.  The bill would produce $320 billion in spending reductions, one-third of what the March 1 sequester would cut indiscriminately, by incrementally reducing discretionary spending caps over eight years.  Of that $320 billion, $167 billion would be drawn from the defense budget, and the remaining $153 billion would come from all other areas of discretionary spending.  Additionally, the bill would suspend the debt limit until February 1, 2017.

“This bill does not deny the fact that we need to make changes to mandatory spending programs and raise new revenues.  We absolutely do.  This alternative plan would ensure that discretionary spending accounts, and the economy, are no longer held hostage while Congress debates the larger revenue increases and mandatory spending changes necessary to move towards fiscal responsibility.  We have a deficit problem that must be addressed, but we should not damage our economy and undermine national security in the process,” said Smith.

 Background

As a resolution to the failed debt ceiling debate in 2011, Congress created the Budget Control Act, which Smith voted against. The act temporarily raised the debt limit and stipulated that if Congress did not find $1.2 trillion in savings, then a process called sequestration would kick in. Cuts through sequestration were designed to be so damaging to our national defense, the economy and other important federal programs, that Congress would be forced to act.

As a deterrent to inaction, sequestration failed. Congress did not act, yet the devastating mechanism intended to force action remains in place. As a result, a wide variety of federal programs face crippling uncertainty, including investments in national security, the workforce, transportation infrastructure, education, health care, public safety, housing, innovation, small business development, Medicare and many other facets of enduring national strength. Over the weekend, the White House released a detailed report outlining the serious implications of sequestration.

 

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Date Title
2/9/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on Defense Budget Proposal
2/2/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on Afghanistan Hearing
Date Title
1/22/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on Terror Attacks in Burkina Faso and Somalia
1/14/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on Nomination of General Joseph Votel
1/7/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement at Hearing Discussing Acquisition Reform
1/6/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on North Korea
Date Title
12/10/15 Ranking Member Smith and Ranking Member Speier Statement on Release of Oversight and Investigations Report
12/1/15 Ranking Member Smith Statement at Hearing Examining U.S. Strategy for Syria and Iraq
Date Title
11/25/15 Ranking Member Smith Statement on President Signing 2016 National Defense Authorization Act
11/25/15 Chairman Thornberry and Ranking Member Smith Statement on Kunduz Investigation
11/23/15 Ranking Member Adam Smith Statement on Terrorist Attacks in Mali
11/18/15 Ranking Member Adam Smith Statement on Syrian Refugee Bill Offered by Chairman McCaul
11/18/15 Ranking Member Adam Smith Statement for Hearing on Iraq and Syria
11/17/15 Ranking Member Adam Smith Statement on OPM/DHS/OMB Decision Not To Testify Before HASC
11/13/15 Ranking Member Adam Smith Statement on Terrorist Attacks in Paris
11/5/15 Ranking Member Adam Smith Statement on Passage of NDAA
Date Title
10/30/15 Ranking Member Adam Smith Statement on President’s Announcement of Special Operations Deployment in Syria
10/27/15 Ranking Member Smith Statement at Hearing Examining Shortening the Defense Acquisition Cycle
10/22/15 Ranking Member Smith Statement on NDAA Veto
10/21/15 Ranking Member Smith Statement for DOD Security Cooperation Hearing
10/16/15 Ranking Member Adam Smith Statement on the President’s Announcement Regarding Troop Levels in Afghanistan
Date Title
9/30/15 Ranking Member Adam Smith on Pending Defense Bill Veto
9/30/15 Ranking Member Adam Smith on McCarthy’s Benghazi Comments
9/29/15 Ranking Member Adam Smith on NDAA Conference Report
9/29/15 Ranking Member Smith Statement for Cyber Hearing