With the automatic budget cuts across the board to federal agencies coming three days from now, bills to address the issue are apparently the only real action taking place in Washington.
The Republican plan would maintain the level of spending reductions but give President Obama more flexibility to minimize their impact on military preparedness and other vital government services, such as air traffic control and airport security screening.
The Democratic package, meanwhile, would freeze the sequester through the end of the calendar year and offset the $110 billion cost with an even mix of spending cuts and tax increases.
Despite all the dire warnings of economic consequences for allowing the sequester cuts to take place as prescribed by law, neither bill will get the 60 votes needed to pass. The Senate Dems would have the votes to pass their bill (favored by most Americans) if we actually allowed a majority to pass legislation (another good reason for Senate filibuster reform).
Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) is introducing a bill that would target the $500 billion in cuts — rather than letting them hit across-the-board— while legislation from Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) would do away with the defense side of sequestration altogether.
But there is at least one South Carolina GOP House member who will not vote to spare the military or any federal agency.
Representative Jeff Duncan says that all agencies should be able to absorb the cuts. Mr. Duncan is a strong advocate for cutting federal spending and he’s putting his vote where his mouth is. While you might not agree with him, he is willing to suffer any public backlash from the sequester cuts.