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.

 

###



Date Title
5/2/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth’s Final NDAA Markup
5/2/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez’s Final NDAA Markup
Date Title
4/28/16 Smith Statement on Passage of the FY2017 NDAA Out of Committee
4/28/16 Republicans Vote to Allow Confederate Flag to Fly at The Citadel
4/26/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on NDAA Funding
4/26/16 Military Letters Confirm Sage Grouse Protections Don’t Compromise Readiness, National Security
4/26/16 Smith, Scott, and Cummings Oppose NDAA Amendment to Reward Pervasive Violators of Employment, Non-Discrimination, and Safety Laws with New Government Contracts
4/25/16 Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act Chairman’s Mark Summary
4/25/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on Congresswoman Gwen Graham’s Decision Not to Seek Reelection
4/15/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on Excess DOD Infrastructure Study Files
4/14/16 Press Outlets: Sign Up to Receive NDAA Amendments Via Email
4/13/16 Smith, Thornberry Begin FY17 National Defense Authorization Process
Date Title
3/22/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on Terror Attacks in Brussels
3/10/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on Iran Missile Tests
3/3/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on Iran Elections
Date Title
2/29/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on Terror Attacks in Somalia
2/23/16 Ranking Member Smith Statement on President’s Plan to Close Guantanamo
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
12/3/15 Ranking Member Adam Smith Statement on Secretary Carter’s Announcement to Open All Combat Positions to Women