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
7/29/15 Smith’s Statement for Iran Nuclear Deal Hearing
7/16/15 Ranking Member Adam Smith on Killing of Four Marines
7/14/15 Ranking Member Adam Smith on Iran Agreement
7/13/15 Ranking Member Adam Smith on Transgender Working Group
7/9/15 Ranking Member Adam Smith on Army Force Reductions
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6/17/15 Ranking Member Smith’s Statement at Middle East Hearing
6/10/15 Ranking Member Smith on Deployment of Additional Support to Iraq
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5/14/15 Adam Smith Fires Back at Boehner on NDAA
5/13/15 Ranking Member Adam Smith to Oppose NDAA
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4/29/15 Republicans Disavow Pleas from CNO on Cruisers
4/27/15 Smith on Release of Chairman’s Mark
4/15/15 Ranking Member Smith’s Statement for PACOM Hearing
4/2/15 Adam Smith’s Statement on Iran Framework
Date Title
3/24/15 Ranking Member Adam Smith on Afghanistan
3/18/15 Ranking Member Smith Appoints Hale to Army Commission
3/18/15 Smith’s Statement for Hearing with Carter, Dempsey
3/17/15 Ranking Member Smith’s Statement at Hearing with Service Leaders
3/4/15 Ranking Member Smith on Iran Negotiations
3/4/15 Ranking Member Smith’s Statement for Afghanistan Hearing
3/3/15 Ranking Member Smith’s on CENTCOM, Middle East Hearing
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2/26/15 Ranking Member Smith’s Statement for AUMF Hearing
2/25/15 Ranking Member Smith’s Statement for EUCOM Hearing
2/13/15 Ranking Member Adam Smith on DHS Funding
2/12/15 Ranking Member Adam Smith on Ukraine Ceasefire Agreement
2/11/15 Adam Smith’s Statement on AUMF