Democrat offers sequestration alternative

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

A Democratic lawmaker has offered an amendment to GOP legislation that would replace the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts scheduled to take effect on March 1.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., filed his measure to the House Rules Committee to amend H.R. 444, the so-called Require a Plan Act, which directs President Obama to submit a balanced budget plan to Congress this spring. Van Hollen’s measure would eliminate the 2013 sequester and replace it with a “balanced approach to deficit reduction,” according to the text of the amendment. The amendment offers a mix of spending cuts and revenue increases to reduce the deficit. It would increase taxes on high-income earners, end some tax breaks to oil and gas companies and eliminate direct payment programs to farmers. Van Hollen unsuccessfully tried to tack on a similar amendment last fall to a House bill that replaced cuts to the Defense Department under sequestration with reductions to other government programs.

The National Treasury Employees Union encouraged the Rules Committee to approve the amendment for consideration when the House votes on H.R. 444 this week. “People all over the country are questioning why Congress isn’t doing anything to avoid the harmful and arbitrary cuts sequestration will cause beginning on March 1,” NTEU President Colleen Kelley said. “Van Hollen’s amendment would provide a balanced and timely alternative to sequestration.”

The Require A Plan Act requires Obama to submit a supplemental budget by April 1 if his fiscal 2014 budget blueprint does not include a plan to balance the government’s books. The administration on Monday missed the annual deadline to submit its budget recommendation for the upcoming fiscal year, citing uncertainty over the fiscal cliff and sequestration as reasons for the delay. The administration’s proposal is expected sometime in March, though it’s not clear when exactly.

“There is no excuse for having missed the mark four times in the past five years,” said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., on Monday. “Even the budget he eventually submitted last year never achieved balance. We need to get spending under control. “

The Rules Committee had a hearing on H.R. 444 on Monday evening.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.