Senate to Shoot Down Sequester Alternatives

Alan K. Ota / Roll Call (Feb. 27, 2013)


The Senate is expected to defeat Thursday competing Democratic and Republican alternatives to the $85.3 billion in automatic spending cuts scheduled to begin Friday.

Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., proposes to replace the percentage cuts imposed by a provision of the 2011 debt limit agreement with a package of revenue increases and alternative savings.

Senate Republicans settled late Wednesday on a sequester substitute that would give President Barack Obama until March 15 to send Congress an alternative package of targeted spending cuts. Lawmakers could block the president’s plan only by adopting within seven days a resolution of disapproval that would require Obama’s signature or the support of a veto-proof majority.

The Republican alternative would rule out tax increases or increases in any non-defense accounts. No more than half the president’s proposed cuts could come from the defense portion of the budget, and defense cuts would have to be consistent with policies established by the fiscal 2013 defense authorization law (PL 112-239).

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Lincoln's Civil War goal: preserving the Union - not abolishing slavery....